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His Daughter

Yoram Kaniuk
His Daughter starts out as a mystery bordering on fantasy, continues as a novel of quest and intrigue, and concludes as a confession. Three men have been friends since their army days: Reuben, who becomes head of the Mossad, the Chief of Staff, and Joseph Krieger, a retired general who fought in all Israel`s wars.
The novel centers around Joseph`s daughter, Miriam, who has disappeared. As Joseph goes off in desperate search of her, he also starts a journey of self-discovery which leads him through his past to the painful realization that his life - both as soldier and as father - has been based on illusion. His anguish intensifies when he receives oddly-dated letters from Miriam, in which she taunts him for his failings and his inability to show his love for her. The clues to Miriam`s whereabouts are initially bizarre, then sinister: a boat trip with balloons, an unscheduled TV documentary, bloodstained clothes. His two old friends are also involved in the search, and as suspicions about the reason for her disappearance shift from person to person, the narrative describes the changing relationship between them.
When Miriam`s body is finally found under the rubble of an Arab house - blown up in an Israeli reprisal raid - it becomes clear that her death is connected to that of a young soldier who was killed in similar circumstances. Miriam was madly in love with the young man and had long held her father - his commander - responsible for his death.
The daughter that Joseph finally discovers is unknown to him, but Miriam`s need for revenge - as well as to atone for her father’s sins - proves to be part of a relentless cycle of tragedy and guilt that ends only with her death. Now there is no further point to Joseph`s life and he commits suicide. An elderly neighbor sums it all up: Jews came to live in Israel, he says, but apparently they came to die here too.


Kaniuk His Daughter
Title His Daughter
Author’s Last Name Kaniuk
Author's First Name Yoram
Language(s) English, Norwegian, Swedish
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Sifriat Maariv
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1987
Publisher 2 (Hebrew) Yedioth Ahronoth
Year of Publication 2 (Hebrew) 2004
No. Pages 319 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Bito
Representation Represented by ITHL

Translations

English: London, Peter Halban, 1988; New York, George Braziller, 1989; New York, Paladin, 1989
Swedish: Stockholm, Forum. 1989
Norwegian: Oslo, Aschehoug, 1996
 
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