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MAY 15 ONE BOOK, ONE ND featuring Jill Kandel

The Clean Daughter is a story about building a family across cultural, linguistic, and geographical divides. The complicated ways families both destroy and heal one another. The story of a family held together by tenacity, curiosity, and courage.

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Meet Jill Kandel!

I’m a North Dakota girl married to a man from the Netherlands. We’ve lived and worked on four of this beautiful planet’s continents. I’ve always been a reader of books but didn’t come to writing till I was in my forties. At that time, with four children, I began writing early each morning. Getting up at 5:00 a.m. and writing a few hours each day. My first publications were essays about living in Zambia and were published in various journals locally and later nationally.

My first book, So Many Africas: Six Years in a Zambian Village, (Autumn House Press) came out in 2015 and won both the Autumn House Prize and the Sarton Women’s Literary Award. My second book is forthcoming! February 2022.

I love so many things about this life. Knitting, reading, hiking and bird watching. Flowers and strange vegetables make me happy. I have too many hobbies; some favorites are acrylic painting, book binding, journal making, cooking vegan dishes up for my hubby, and curb shopping to find things other people throw away so I can restore or repurpose them. Everything (and everyone) deserves a second chance.

The Clean Daughter: A Cross-Continental Memoir

NDSU Press, April 2022

When Jill Kandel married Johan, a man from the Netherlands, the wild ride of her cross-cultural life began. A joyous journey of living with a man for forty years. A man whose work took them to live on four different continents as they formed their own kind of family, unique as any other, graced with the joy of having known multiple languages and cultures.

Throughout her marriage, Kandel struggles with her father-in-law, Izaak. Beneath his calm demeanor and clerical garb, he hides the wounds of growing up in Nazi-occupied Holland. Childhood chaos led him to become a man who had all the answers. For everyone. Except himself.

When Izaak ends his own life – while still a healthy man – using legalized euthanasia in the Netherlands, the long tumultuous relationship between daughter-in-law and father-in-law ends. But Kandel can’t move on. Exhausted by thoughts of Izaak, she returns to the Netherlands searching for understanding.

Moderator Bill Thomas

Bill started at Prairie Public Radio in 1999 as the first manager for the new public radio network formed with NDSU and UND. He came to North Dakota from working in Lincoln at Nebraska's Public Radio Network. Before that, he started small community stations, managed national program distribution, has been a program director, a station manager and a network manager in Champaign-Urbana, Los Angeles; Washington, DC; and St. Louis.

HND Value Statement

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this {article, book, exhibition, film, program, database, report, Web resource}, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or Humanities North Dakota.

However, in an increasingly polarized world, we at Humanities North Dakota believe that being open-minded is necessary to thinking critically and rationally.

Therefore, our programs and classes reflect our own open-mindedness in the inquiry, seeking, and acquiring of scholars to speak at our events and teach classes for our Public University.

To that end, we encourage our participants to join us in stepping outside our comfort zones and considering other perspectives and ideas by being open-minded while attending HND events featuring scholars who hold a variety of opinions, some being opposite of our own held beliefs.

Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities

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