Itsik Malpesh was born the son of a goose-plucking factory manager during the Russian pogroms - his life saved on the night it began by the young daughter of a kosher slaughterer. Or so he believes ... Exiled during the war, Itsik eventually finds himself in New York, working as a typesetter and writing poetry to his muse, the butcher's daughter, whom he is sure he will never see again. But it is here in New York that Itsik is unexpectedly reunited with his greatest love - and, later, his greatest enemy - with results both serendipitous and tragic. His story is recounted in his memoirs thanks to the most unlikely of translators - a twenty-one-year-old Boston Catholic college student who, in meeting Itsik, has embarked upon a great lie that will define his future and the most extraordinary friendship he'll ever know.
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