In the Russian Empire's Pale of Settlement, Esther Leving, a brilliant young bibliophile, chafes at male dominance, religious dogma, and antisemitism. Bernard Garfinkle, a religious Jew and the son of a vodka distiller, hides a shameful secret-in a culture that worships books, he can't read. Despite their differences, they fall in love. Esther teaches Bernard to read and he in turn builds her a bookshop. They start a family, but when ferocious pogroms target Russian Jews, they must confront violent oppression.
Exploring the turbulent history which led to the great migration, when one-and-a-half million Jews emigrated to America between 1881 and 1914, Horodno Burning is a love letter to literature, freedom, and Jewish survival.
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