Thursday, June 4th
5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Reading at 6:00 p.m.
to read from and sign copies of his novel,
(Graywolf Press, $26.00 hardcover)
Order a signed copy
It's the late 1960s. The Pinch, once a thriving Jewish community centered on North Main Street in Memphis, has been reduced to a single tenant. Lenny Sklarew awaits the draft by peddling drugs and shelving books—until he learns he is a character in a book about the rise and fall of this very Pinch. Muni Pinsker, who authored the book in an enchanted day containing years, arrived in the neighborhood at its height, and was smitten by an alluring tightrope walker. Muni’s own story is dovetailed by that of his uncle Pinchas Pin, whose epic journey to North Main Street forms the book’s spine. Steve Stern interweaves these tales with an ingenious structure that merges past with present, and his wildly inventive fabulism surpasses everything he’s done before. Together, these intersecting stories transform the real-world experience of Lenny, whose fate determines the future of the Pinch, in this brilliant, unforgettable novel.
"The Pinch—for many years in the early 20th century a predominantly Jewish section of Memphis—has found its Whitman and its Faulkner in Stern, who's written a stylistically effusive, verbally extravagant novel. . . . Audacious, hilarious, unabashed fiction."—Kirkus, starred review
Former Memphian Steve Stern, winner of the National Jewish Book Award, is the author of several previous novels and story collections, including
The Book of Mischief and The Frozen Rabbi. He teaches at Skidmore College in upstate New York.