See the cover for Sara Lippmann’s debut novel LECH

There is such beauty in discovering a debut author; especially when their book cover stands out in the crowd. Cover design follows trends, but every once in a while, you spot a stark photograph among the colorful palettes and Helvetica font. Sara Lippmann’s debut novel is one such book.

LECH comes out October 18 via Tortoise Books, but Debutiful is pleased to reveal the striking cover of the book now! The author collaborated with Jerry Brennan, Tortoise Books publisher, to create the cover.

“The cover underwent an interesting evolution. Initially, I was heart set on Catskills decay — and Jerry was such a good sport about indulging the idea, but as I eventually (begrudgingly) learned, my rigidness wasn’t so easy to translate. We kicked around this design with a gigantic fly which captured the theme of rot brilliantly but perhaps was not as visually appealing (yet it will always hold a special place in my soul),” Lippman revealed. “

“Because the title is so confrontational, we kind of had to balance it a bit. The chair idea arose from a different pair of images: one of a bungalow, one of an abandoned hotel — and I liked how nostalgia, ache, a touch of creepiness, and loneliness all felt present in this shot, yet in a more summery and comical way. My novel is told through five different points of view (and grapples with an absence wrought by a drowning), so I like the possibility it presents. Another thing: in addition to the obvious, LECH also has a secondary, biblical meaning ‘to go forth’– which forms the central throughline — and so I appreciate the wink here. Who will leave, who will stay put.”

Set over the course of a single summer in Upstate New York, LECH explores how we all can become predators when the opportunity presents itself to further our lives at the expense of others. The small town story is filled with memorable characters, complication relationships, and unforgettable prose.

The book has garnered praise from authors like Catherine Chung (The Tenth Muse), who called Lippmann, “an extraordinary, razor-sharp, utterly original and gripping voice” while Joshua Henkin (Morningside Heights) notes ” 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”

You can preorder the book via Bookshop.org here.

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