Foreskin's Lament reveals Auslander's youth in a strict, socially isolated Orthodox community, and recounts his rebellion and efforts to make a new life apart from it. Auslander remembers his youthful attempt to win the `blessing bee' (the Orthodox version of a spelling bee), his exile to reform school in Israel after being caught shoplifting a cassette tape of West Side Story, and his twenty-five-mile hike to watch the New York Rangers play in Madison Square Garden without violating the Sabbath. Throughout, Auslander struggles to understand God and His complicated, often contradictory laws. But ultimately, he settles for a ceasefire with God, accepting the very slim remaining hope that his newborn son might live free of guilt, doubt, and struggle.
Auslander's combination of unrelenting humour and anger - a voice that compares to those of David Sedaris and Dave Eggers - delivers a rich and fascinating self-portrait of a man grappling with his faith, family, and community.
Praise for Shalom Auslander
'There is a serious point to Auslander's fictional games. He wants us to be careful of taking any figure of authority too seriously; God is just the prime example . . . Its real heroes are literary: writers such as James Joyce and Samuel Beckett who use prose to get at something more mysterious and mystical than any religion - our love of and trust in language, to amuse and distract us from death' Times Literary Supplement
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aFierce, funny, and subversively heartfelt...With his middle finger pointed at the heavens and a hand held over his heart, Auslander gives us "Foreskinas Lament," Mazel tov to him. And God? Well, heall survive.a a"New York Times Book Review" aAuslander writes like Philip Rothas angry nephew... a scathing theological rant, a funny, oddly moving coming-of-age memoir, and an irreverent meditation on family, marriage, and cultural identity. God may be a bit irritated by this book, but I loved it.a aTom Perrotta, author of "Little Children" and "The Abstinence Teacher" aA laugh-out-loud quarrel with God.a a"Newsweek" aA terrific book I was sad I read in so few sittings, because I wanted more.a a"San Francisco Chronicle" aHilarious, caustic, and surprisingly moving.a a"Philadelphia Inquirer" aBlasphemous and funny.a a "Newsweek" aA surprise and delight.a a"Boston Globe" aA fretful, self-effacing, bittera]hilarious story.a a"The Houston Chronicle" aWryly comic.a a"New York Magazine" aHilarious, caustic, and surprisingly moving.a a"Philadelphia Inquirer" aA very funny memoir.a a"GQ" aLyrical, hystericala] funny and angry.a a"Cleveland Plain Dealer" aAn audacious, poke-God-in-theeye memoir.a a"Miami Herald"
About Shalom Auslander
Shalom Auslander was raised in Monsey, New York. Nominated for the Koret Award for writers under thirty-five, he has published articles in Esquire, the New York Times Magazine, Tablet, and the New Yorker, and has had stories aired on NPR's This American Life. He is the author of the short-story collection Beware of God and the memoir Foreskin's Lament. He lives in New York.
Foreskin's Lament by Shalom Auslander
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