Shalom Auslander

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Shalom Auslander (born 1970) is an American author and essayist. He grew up in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Monsey, New York where he describes himself as having been "raised like a veal".[1][2] His writing style is notable for its Jewish perspective and determinedly negative outlook. He often draws comparisons to David Sedaris.[3][4]

Early life[edit]

Auslander was born and raised in Monsey, and attended high school at the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy in Manhattan.[5] He lived in Teaneck, New Jersey.


Auslander has published a collection of short stories, Beware of God (March 2006) and a memoir, Foreskin's Lament: A Memoir (October 2007).[6] His work, often confronting his Orthodox Jewish background, has been featured on Public Radio International's This American Life and in The New Yorker. He was a finalist for the 2003–2004 Koret Jewish Book Award for "Young Writer on Jewish Themes."[7]

In "Foreskin's Lament," Auslander wrote of his mother, "who was the belle of the misery ball," and his father, who was angry and uncommunicative. As a child, he went through the house and destroyed all the pornography he found. As an adult, he rebelled against his Orthodox Jewish upbringing.[8]

In January 2012, Auslander published his first novel, Hope: A Tragedy, which envisions a homeowner in upstate New York finding an elderly and foul-mouthed Anne Frank hiding in his attic.[9] It won the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Prize (2013).[10]

Auslander wrote and created the Showtime television program, Happyish, which shot a pilot with Philip Seymour Hoffman. After Hoffman's death on February 2, 2014, it appeared that the project would be discontinued. However, it was subsequently recast with Steve Coogan and is set to premiere on April 26, 2015.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Auslander is married with two children, and currently resides in Woodstock, New York.[12] Auslander is the nephew of the former president of Yeshiva University Norman Lamm.[13]

Partial list of works[edit]


Short stories/magazine articles[edit]

Radio interviews/readings[edit]

Television shows[edit]


  1. ^ Shalom Auslander, Voicing a Comic 'Lament', Fresh Air, October 8, 2007. Accessed October 9, 2007.
  2. ^ Auslander, Shalom. “Foreskin’s Lament”, The New York Times, September 28, 2007. Accessed October 9, 2007.
  3. ^ Reese, Jennifer (2007-10-05), "Shtick Figure". Entertainment Weekly (957):73
  4. ^ Bob Minzesheimer (2007-11-01), "Roundup: Non-fiction, in brief." USA Today.
  5. ^ Brawarsky, Sandee. "An Orthodox 'cast-off' holds God accountable", The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles , October 19, 2007. Accessed February 14, 2008. "By the time he was in high school, the Manhattan Talmudic Academy, he was shoplifting the kinds of expensive clothing his classmates wore, smoking dope and skipping classes to go to museums, bookstores and porn shops."
  6. ^ Reese, Jennifer. "Book Review: Foreskin's Lament (2007)", Entertainment Weekly. Accessed October 9, 2007.
  7. ^ Koret Foundation Press Release
  8. ^ Foley, Dylan. "10 Minutes with Shalom Auslander". October 17, 2007. Religion News Service. Retrieved January 19, 2012. 
  9. ^ Maslin, Janet (January 18, 2012). ""Anne Frank, Still Writing In the Attic"". New York Times. Retrieved January 19, 2012. 
  10. ^ Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Prize 2013
  11. ^
  12. ^ McGrath, Charles. "Shalom Auslander: An Orthodox Jewish outsider grapples with his past", International Herald Tribune, October 3, 2007. Accessed October 9, 2007.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Auslander, Shalom (June 2008), "Nip it, bud". Men's Health. 23 (5):110–114

External links[edit]