Shalom Auslander's stories in Beware of God have the mysterious punch of a dream. They are wide ranging and inventive: A young Jewish man's inexplicable transformation into a very large, blond, tattooed goy ends with an 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.
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.
"It's a noble tradition that includes such luminaries as Groucho Marx, Fran Lebowitz and Jon Stewart, outsiders who mock society with a surgical scalpel of wit to reveal the ridiculous in sharp relief. To that illustrious group some may consider adding writer Shalom Auslander."
-- Ruth Andrew Ellenson, Los Angeles Times
"Hilarious, curious, possibly scandalous, keenly observed and bleeding fresh."
-- Augusten Burroughs, author of Running with Scissors