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A mother recovering from an abortion in a Borscht Belt rental. An eccentric aging landlord, the beleaguered farmer across the lake. A grief-stricken Hasid. A scheming real estate agent looking for her break, her dogged daughter looking for her way out, and her addict boyfriend mired in it. These lives—strangers, neighbors, family, friends—entwine and separate over the course of one fevered upstate summer, in a haunting and hilarious debut novel by acclaimed author Sara Lippmann that confronts the perennial question: how to loosen the ties that bind?




"A funny, brutal, symphonic novel from a writer with intensity and authority to spare. The world of LECH is as vivid, as wild, and as shockingly familiar as life itself, but way more interesting and way better told."

— Elisa Albert, author of Human Blues

"What an extraordinary, razor-sharp, utterly original and gripping voice. Sara Lippman's LECH is at once a painstakingly drawn exploration of claustrophobia, exploitation, predation, and place, and a primal howl of rage let loose in the wind. Told in unflinching prose and with searing poetic intensity, LECH burns with all the fury and tenderness of an open wound."

— Catherine Chung, author of The Tenth Muse 

LECH takes place over a single summer in the Catskills, but it’s far bigger than that.  Sara Lippmann is finely attuned to the cultural, political, and religious tensions that arise between the vacationers and the locals, between the haves and the have-nots. And, wow, those sentences! Lippmann writes like a dream.”

— Joshua Henkin, author of Morningside Heights

"Sara Lippmann's LECH is a superb Jewish gothic, an expertly pitched polyvocal tale of family, loss, and redemption. By turns funny, beautiful, lewd and heartbreaking, Lippmann delivers a literary performance with all the timing and energy of a great Borscht Belt comic."

— Adam O'Fallon Price, author of The Hotel Neversink


"Sara Lippmann's novel is quilted together with loose stitching, holding the sensual with the grotesque, the intimate with the alienate, the paratactic with the full, and on and on. It is masterfully composed."

— Seth Rogoff, author of Thin Rising Vapors 


"Lippmann’s amiable writing makes for great company." — Publishers Weekly 

"For the right reader, this jigsaw puzzle of a novel will be a pleasure." — Kirkus Reviews 

"LECH is a bleak and brutal novel that sifts through the tragedy-stricken lives of Upstate New Yorkers." — Foreword Reviews 

"Lippmann's approach to the Jew­ish Amer­i­can sto­ry is refresh­ing — it is with­out agen­da or sen­ti­men­tal­i­ty." —  Avner Landes, Paper Brigade Daily

"A marvelous contradiction of a novel." — Brian Gresko, Electric Literature


"Smart and poignant, like the cool older sister of her short fiction. I absolutely loved it." — Rachel León, Vol. 1 Brooklyn

"If Emile Zola had writ­ten about twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry Sul­li­van Coun­ty, New York, instead of nine­teenth-cen­tu­ry Paris, his explo­ration of char­ac­ter might have resem­bled Sara Lippmann’s in Lech." - Emily Schneider, Jewish Book Council

"As the novel's characters excavate their lives and choices in search of logic and clarity, they're ultimately left with this truth: What we're told to believe about ourselves and the world is never all there is." -Chanel Dubofsky, Jewish Women's Archive 

LECH cover

Read an excerpt of the novel at Guernica

Available to order from Bookshop

Check out LECH on Goodreads

Enjoy a playlist at Largehearted Boy

Learn more about the cover process at Necessary Fiction

Learn more about the cover design at Debutiful

Included in The Rumpus's list of what to read if you've made it through half of 2022 

"Lech is the ambitious debut novel of an excellent new prose stylist." -The Millions

 Nylon's list of October Must Reads


Chicago Review of Books list of Must Reads of October 

Bustle's Anticipated Reads for October







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