The Six Granddaughters of Cecil Slaughter (Hardcover)

By Susan Hahn

Fifth Star Press, NFP, 9780984651009, 272pp.

Publication Date: September 17, 2012

List Price: 22.00*
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Telling the story of a family of Jewish Hungarian immigrants settled in Chicago in the first half of the 20th century, this novel follows their rise from poverty to prosperity as Cecil Slaughter’s children—out of equal measures glorified memory and sibling rivalry—name their daughters after him, with subtle variations: Ceci, Cecilia, Cecily, Celine, Celie, and Celeste. Despite—or perhaps because of—this and other familial forces pushing on them, each has a personality and direction of life distinct from her cousins. Celie is the top saleswoman in an upscale dress shop; Cecily is a playwright; Cecilia is a poet; Celine finds her expression in the seduction of men; and Celeste died as an infant. Ceci, the eldest of the Slaughter grandchildren and daughter of the admired and envied family beauty, Rose, died as a young adult and she serves as narrator of the novel from the afterlife. Through reflection, and with the counsel of Lao Tzu, she gradually attains a greater understanding and acceptance of Earthly human weakness, even as the lives of her living cousins lead inexorably to a violent and tragic conclusion. Set in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago, this unusual page turner utilizes poetry and a sense of theatrical staging to original and haunting effect, rending a family saga with both distance and intimacy.

About the Author

Susan Hahn is the former editor of "TriQuarterly" and the author of two produced plays and nine books of poetry, including "Self/Pity "and "The Scarlet Ibis." She has won numerous writing awards, including the George Kent Prize from "Poetry Magazine," the Society of Midland Authors Award, the Pushcart Prize, a Jeff Recommendation, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in Winnetka, Illinois.

Praise For The Six Granddaughters of Cecil Slaughter

“Susan Hahn’s achievement in The Six Granddaughters of Cecil Slaughter is remarkable—vivid and deeply moving. A book unlike any I have read before, and a joy, I was sorry to reach its wonderful ending.”  —David H. Lynn, editor, The Kenyon Review

“A beautiful, meditative novel that unfolds like one of the many lyric poems that move its action in circles sweeping at once forward and back into a haunting past. Susan Hahn’s evocation of the psychic nets in which lives become ensnared, no less than her delicate and disturbing prose, testifies to the wonders of fiction.”  —Eric Sundquist, author, Strangers in the Land

“In her psychologically astute, darkly funny, and suspenseful first novel, best-selling poet, playwright, and Guggenheim fellow Susan Hahn combines the absurd with the tragic in a unique take on the malignant legacy of genocide and the transcendent effort to channel pain into art.”  —Donna Seaman, Booklist