Is a new life possible? Because Shira Greene's life hasn't quite turned out as planned. She's a single mom living with her daughter and her gay friend, Ahmad. Her PhD on Dante's Vita Nuova hasn't gotten her a job, and her career as a translator hasn't exactly taken off either. But then she gets a call from a Nobel Prize-winning Italian poet who insists she's the only one who can translate his newest book. Stunned, Shira realizes that--just like that--her life can change. She sees a new beginning beckoning: academic glory, demand for her translations, and even love (her good luck has made her feel more open to the entreaties of a neighborhood indie bookstore owner). There's only one problem: It all hinges on the translation, and as Shira starts working on the exquisitely intricate passages of the poet's book, she realizes that it may in fact be, well ... impossible to translate.