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)