Shalom Auslander

October 23, 2007

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Shalom Auslander

In his debut collection of stories, Beware of God, Shalom Auslander imagined God through the eyes of a yeshiva student, a chimpanzee, two hamsters, and an advertising salesman. Now he turns the light on himself. His new memoir, Foreskin's Lament, traces his difficult and complicated relationship with his family, the Orthodox community in which he was raised, and the Jewish God. We learn how he was sent to reform school in Israel after shoplifting a cassette tape of West Side Story, and how he hiked 25 miles to a Rangers game so as not to violate the Sabbath. While he negotiates his relationship with God, raging one moment, supplicating the next, he also tries to create a new life with his wife and son. Shalom Auslander's work has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, and The New York Times Magazine; he has also performed stories on This American Life. He is a regular columnist for Nextbook's web magazine Nextbook.org.

 

Recorded Tuesday, October 23, 2007 at Abbey Pub.