Shalom Auslander's stories in Beware of God have the mysterious punch of a dream. They are wide ranging and inventive: a young man's inexplicable transformation into a very large, blond, tattooed goy ends with a Talmudic argument over whether or not his father can beat his unclean son with a copy of the Talmud. A pious man having a near-death experience discovers that God is actually a chicken, and he's forced to reconsider his life - and his diet. At God's insistence, Leo Schwartzman searches Home Depot for supplies for an ark. And a young boy mistakes Holocaust Remembrance Day as emergency preparedness training for the future. Auslander draws upon his upbringing in an Orthodox Jewish community in New York State to craft stories that are filled with shame, sex, God and death, but also manage to be wickedly funny and poignant. Praise for Beware of God: 'Hilarious, curious, possibly scandalous, keenly observed and bleeding-fresh' Augusten Burroughs 'The stories in Beware of God mark the debut of the freshest voice in Jewish literature since Philip Roth arrived on the scene. Youthful, energetic, wholly original - never has Orthodox Judaism been so appealing . . . In these stories not only does God speak - he does it in Dolby Surround sound' A. M. Homes
Shalom Auslander was raised as an Orthodox Jew in Spring Valley, New York. Nominated for the Koret Award for writers under thirty-five, he has published articles in Esquire and has had stories aired on NPR's This American Life. He lives in New York City.