(cover art pending)
Translated from the Yiddish
אַ טױט: שריפֿטן פֿון אַ זעלבסטמערדער
Wakefield Press 2019
In a Yiddish take on Notes from Underground, a dark, expressionist love affair develops in a large, unnamed Eastern European city between the young, impoverished, and violently self-loathing teacher, Shloyme—and a hungry, spiteful, and unsettlingly sensual revolver.
Purchased from a friend ostensibly to protect him from the pogroms sweeping the empire, the weapon instead opens a portal to Shloyme’s innermost demons, and through it he begins his methodical mission to eradicate any remnants of life and humanity in him and pave the way for his self-destruction.
A Death takes the form of a diary that follows the Jewish calendar, describing hallucinatory demons and parasitical urges as its author spends his remaining days excising all his responsibilities and acquaintances from a life now devoted to not living.
What people are saying:
"Atmosphere abounds in this short, bleak novel."
— Tobias Carroll, Words without Borders
"Most of this (in)action is high morbid wit and Kennedy’s miraculous English allows as much Yiddish laughter as our too-Latinized tongue can probably bear. It is all very subtle despite the histrionics, with a hauntingly comic despair."
— Martin Billheimer, Counterpunch
"A disturbingly satisfying read."
— M. A. Orthofer, The Complete Review
"A forgotten masterwork of Yiddish literature."
— Mikhail Krutikov, Forverts
"Bleak sumptuous prose."
— Joe Pascoe, The Collidescope