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Aquarium: A Novel

$52.99

$52.99

Sisters Lili and Dori Ackerman are deaf. Their parents—beautiful, despondent Anna; fearsome and admired Alex—are deaf too. Alex, a scrap-metal collector and sometime prophet, opposes any attempts to integrate with the world of the hearing; to escape its destructive influence, the girls are educated at home. Deafness is no disability, their father says, but an alternative way of life, preferable by far to that of the strident, hypocritical hearing.

Lili and Dori grow up semi-feral, living in a world they have created together. Lili writes down everything that happens, just the facts. And Dori, the reader, follows her. On the block where the girls spend their childhood, the family is united against a hostile and alien world. They watch the hearing like they would fish in an aquarium.

But when the outside world intrudes, the cracks that begin to form will span the rest of their lives. Separated from the family that ingrained in them a sense of uniqueness and alienation, Lili and Dori must relearn how to live, and how to tell their own stories.

Sly, surprising, and as sharp-fanged as its protagonists, Yaara Shehori's Aquarium is a stunning debut that interrogates the practices of storytelling—and storyhearing.

Book Information

  • ISBN: 9780374105921
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pub Date: 29/06/2021
  • Category: Fiction & related items / Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
  • Imprint: Farrar Straus Giroux
  • Pages: 272
  • Price: $52.99

Sisters Lili and Dori Ackerman are deaf. Their parents—beautiful, despondent Anna; fearsome and admired Alex—are deaf too. Alex, a scrap-metal collector and sometime prophet, opposes any attempts to integrate with the world of the hearing; to escape its destructive influence, the girls are educated at home. Deafness is no disability, their father says, but an alternative way of life, preferable by far to that of the strident, hypocritical hearing.

Lili and Dori grow up semi-feral, living in a world they have created together. Lili writes down everything that happens, just the facts. And Dori, the reader, follows her. On the block where the girls spend their childhood, the family is united against a hostile and alien world. They watch the hearing like they would fish in an aquarium.

But when the outside world intrudes, the cracks that begin to form will span the rest of their lives. Separated from the family that ingrained in them a sense of uniqueness and alienation, Lili and Dori must relearn how to live, and how to tell their own stories.

Sly, surprising, and as sharp-fanged as its protagonists, Yaara Shehori's Aquarium is a stunning debut that interrogates the practices of storytelling—and storyhearing.

Author Information

Yaara Shehori has been an editor of Hebrew literature at Keter Publishing House since 2013. In 2014, she was awarded the Prime Minister Levi Eshkol Creative Writing Prize for Writers and Poets and the Minister of Culture’s Prize for Upcoming Writers. She holds a PhD in Hebrew literature from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has been awarded a Fulbright scholarship and a fellowship from the University of Iowa International Writing Program. In 2017, Aquarium received the Bernstein Prize for the best original Hebrew-language novel.

Todd Hasak-Lowy is an American writer, translator, and professor of creative writing and literature at the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago. He is the author of The Task of This Translator, a short-story collection; Captives, a novel; a narrative memoir for young adults, Somewhere There Is Still a Sun, cowritten with the Holocaust survivor Michael Gruenbaum; and three books for younger readers. Hasak-Lowy lives in Evanston, Illinois, with his wife and two daughters.

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