book cover of Songs for the Butcher\'s Daughter

Songs for the Butcher's Daughter

(2008)
A novel by

 
 
Summer, sweltering, 1996. A book warehouse in western Massachusetts. A man at the beginning of his adult life -- and the end of his career rope -- becomes involved with a woman, a language, and a great lie that will define his future. Most auspiciously of all, he runs across Itsik Malpesh, a ninetysomething Russian immigrant who claims to be the last Yiddish poet in America. When a set of accounting ledgers in which Malpesh has written his memoirs surfaces -- twenty-two volumes brimming with adventure, drama, deception, passion, and wit -- the young man is compelled to translate them, telling Malpesh's story as his own life unfolds, and bringing together two paths that coincide in shocking and unexpected ways.

Moving from revolutionary Russia to New York's Depression-era Lower East Side to millennium's-end Baltimore with drama, adventure, and boisterous, feisty charm to spare, the unpeeling of this friendship is a story of the entire twentieth century. For fans of Nicole Krauss, Nathan Englander, Richard Powers, Amy Bloom, and Lore Segal, this book will amaze at every turn: narrated by two poets (one who doesn't know he is and one who doesn't know he isn't), it is a wise and warm look at the constant surprises and ineluctable ravages of time. It's a book about religion, love, and typesetting -- how one passion can be used to goad and thwart the other -- and most of all, about how faith in the power of words can survive even the death of a language.

A novel of faith lost and hope found in translation, Songs for the Butcher's Daughter is at once an immigrant's epic saga, a love story for the ages, a Yiddish-inflected laughing-through-tears tour of world history for Jews and Gentiles alike, and a testament to Manseau's ambitious genius.


Get it on Google Play

Praise for this book

"Exhilerating and enchanting... Peter Manseau is a born storyteller." - Richard Mason


Similar books by other authors


Used availability for Peter Manseau's Songs for the Butcher's Daughter

Hardback Editions

2008 : UK Hardback
thumb

Title: Songs for the Butcher's Daughter
Author(s): Peter Manseau
ISBN: 1-84737-312-7 / 978-1-84737-312-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


September 2008 : USA Hardback
thumb

Title: Songs for the Butcher's Daughter: A Novel
Author(s): Peter Manseau
ISBN: 1-4165-3870-4 / 978-1-4165-3870-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Free Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

May 2009 : UK Paperback
thumb

Title: Songs for the Butcher's Daughter
Author(s): Peter Manseau
ISBN: 1-84739-338-1 / 978-1-84739-338-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 2009 : USA Paperback
thumb

Title: Songs for the Butcher's Daughter: A Novel
Author(s): Peter Manseau
ISBN: 1-4165-3871-2 / 978-1-4165-3871-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Free Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


August 2008 : UK Paperback
thumb

Title: Songs for the Butcher's Daughter
Author(s): Peter Manseau
ISBN: 1-84737-313-5 / 978-1-84737-313-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: NY: Free Press,
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

April 2012 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: Songs for the Butcher's Daughter: A Novel
Author(s): Peter Manseau
Publisher: Peter L Manseau
Availability: Amazon   


April 2012 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: Songs for the Butcher's Daughter: A Novel
Author(s): Peter Manseau
Publisher: Peter L Manseau
Availability: Amazon CA   


April 2012 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: Songs for the Butcher's Daughter: A Novel
Author(s): Peter Manseau
Publisher: Peter L Manseau
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

March 2010 : UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Songs for the Butcher's Daughter
Author(s): Peter Manseau
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Availability: Amazon UK   


September 2008 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Songs for the Butcher's Daughter: A Novel
Author(s): Peter Manseau
Publisher: Free Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA