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Melissa_W
Posts: 4,124
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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THE MASTER BUTCHERS SINGING CLUB: Discussion July 2012

As I mentioned earlier, Louise Erdrich has always been the bridesmaid with this group.  I checked my spreadsheets for previous rounds of nominations/voting and she's always made it to the short list for voting but never quite made the cut.

 

Well, she makes the cut now.  The Master Butcher's Singing Club explores many themes relating to family, immigration, belonging, and memory.  The main character is a German immigrant, a survivor of the Kaiser's army in WWI, but fate lands him in Argus, North Dakota - the setting for many of Erdrich's novels (her use of the same "world" and multiple narratives often earns comparisons with Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha novels).

 

The Master Butcher's Singing Club is available in paperback and ebook (it was also available in audio if you happen to run across a used copy).

Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
Inspired Wordsmith
chadadanielleKR
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Re: THE MASTER BUTCHERS SINGING CLUB: Discussion July 2012

The book has also been translated in French in 2003 and has been published in hardback and paperback cover. I was about to order it in English but I just walked in a library and the bookseller sold it to me at once (in French). So far I am enjoying reading the book. I have just spent a week in Alsace (East of France, next to Germany) and what I saw at the butcher's reminded me so much of Fedelis' sausages: such a large variety unseen in the other parts of France!

Melissa_W
Posts: 4,124
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Blog Posts: 3
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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German butchers/food

I've never been to a "traditional" butcher shop (I think they're maybe considered "artisanal" in the US) so I went digging online for some pictures.

 

Google has historical images for German butcher shops here.  Just a caution: it also mixes the meaning of "butcher" when used to reference the Holocaust, so some of the images are of human remains and gruesome.

 

German Food Guide - not a historical site, but it does have lots of pictures and description of traditional German food and restaurants in the US

 

(and then kind of a sad article - from Smithsonian Magazine 2010, about how the traditional butchers in Germany are closing up because of American-style supermarkets)

Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
Wordsmith
Fozzie
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: German butchers/food

When we lived in Oxford, England, we went to the historic market in town called the Covered Market and saw traditional butcher shops. They were like nothing I had ever seen in the United States. Whole and partial animals were on display, offered for sale. I pictured the butcher shop in the book like those shops.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.