"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".
Shalom Auslander's short story collection, Beware of God, was published by Picador in 2005. He lives in New York.