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Book Title

The Pinch

A Novel
Author 1
Steve Stern
Steve Stern’s prodigious imagination finds a wondrous home in the Pinch, a once-thriving Jewish community in Memphis. The Pinch revolves around a single enchanted day containing years, during which the antics of a group of Jewish mystics threaten to ravage the life of general store proprietor Pinchas Pin with miracles, and his nephew Muni’s ardor for an alluring tightrope walker collides with his passion for chronicling the wonders of North Main Street. Their stories, gleaned by a hapless bookseller from a fabulist history book, transform the fate of the neighborhood. Now in paperback, The Pinch is a sparkling reminder that Steve Stern is one of our most talented and inimitable storytellers.
“[A] big, rangy, saturated, antic new novel, a Pynchonian tragicomedy. . . . Stern, an ebullient maestro of words and mayhem, wonder and conscience, orchestrates a cacophonous, whirling, gritty, tender, time-warping saga that encompasses a cavalcade of horror, stubborn love, cosmic slapstick, burlesque humor, and a scattering of miracles.”—Booklist, starred review
“Weird and wonderful. . . . [The Pinch is] a backdrop to Stern’s poignant and antic drama, a playground on which his exuberant, larger-than-life characters can run wild. . . . The Pinch is composed of . . . perfectly calibrated moments, all of which pulse with a dynamic inventiveness.”Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

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Now in paperback and “brimming with wondrous surprises. . . . There’s magic in The Pinch” (The Boston Globe)

About the Author

Steve  Stern
Credit: Sabrina Jones
Steve Stern, winner of the National Jewish Book Award for fiction, is the author of several previous novels and story collections, including The Pinch, The Book of Mischief and The Frozen Rabbi. He teaches at Skidmore College in upstate New York.
More by author


  • “There’s nothing Stern can’t imagine. In these pages, blacks, hippies, Jews, Irishmen and Siberian lepers speak with enchanting veracity. . . . Above all, Stern is so funny.”The New York Times Book Review
  • “Brimming with wondrous surprises. . . . There’s magic in The Pinch and plenty of it.”The Boston Globe
  • “Call [Stern] the Bard of Jewish Memphis. . . . The yarns that comprise his ‘history’ of the Pinch are by turns charming, amusing, touching, devastating.”The Jewish Week
  • “Weird and wonderful. . . . The Pinch is composed of . . . perfectly calibrated moments, all of which pulse with a dynamic inventiveness.”Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
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