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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Itsik Malpesh is a poet and a dreamer who writes endlessly about his true love, Sasha, whom he has yet to meet. When Itsik's poems get him into trouble in czarist Russia, he begins an odyssey -- with a picture of his beloved Sasha in his coat. Her image stays with him as he labors at a small print shop in Odessa and through a long, hazardous passage to America. And it keeps him company until he settles in New York's garment district. In fact, Sasha stays with Itsik until the eve of his first public appearance as a poet, when she appears in person, as if by magic. But their happiness together is short-lived -- Sasha leaves him before the birth of their first child.
Years later, a young man in Boston who toils at preserving Yiddish books responds to an urgent call from New York, where he meets the elderly Malpesh, in need of a translator for his life story. In weaving together Itsik's tale of colorful characters, the two stumble upon an unlikely connection neither could have foreseen. A tale of love -- of homeland, a new country, a girl, and a culture -- Songs for the Butcher's Daughter is a novel about the way history is captured for the ages through the lives and words of seemingly "average" men. (Holiday 2008 Selection)