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Beschreibung des Verlags
Shalom Auslander was raised with a terrified respect for God. Even as he grew up, defying and eventually being cast out of his community, he could not find his way to a life in which he wasn’t locked in a daily struggle with Him. Foreskin’s Lament is a rich and fascinating portrait of a man grappling with his faith, his family and his community.
‘Bracing and witty . . . Never, frankly, can there have been a more blasphemous book . . . Foreskin’s Lament somehow expresses the ideas of Richard Dawkins in the tone of David Sedaris. You can read it for the humour, you can read it as reportage into a secretive and bizarre world, you can read it as a personal tale of triumph over adversity, or you can just read it for the misery. It doesn’t really matter. But do read it’ William Sutcliffe, Independent on Sunday
‘One of the funniest books I’ve ever read, killingly so’ Hilary Spurling, Observer
‘Exceptional . . . very, very funny’ Time Out
‘Painfully poignant and hilariously noir’ Jewish Chronicle
‘By turns hilarious and devastating . . . Few books are laugh-out-loud funny. This one is’ Naomi Alderman, Sunday Times
‘America’s hottest, funniest, most controversial young Jewish memoirist . . . blackly hilarious, groundbreaking’ The Times
Auslander, a magazine writer, describes his Orthodox Jewish upbringing as "theological abuse" in this sardonic, twitchy memoir that waits for the other shoe to drop from on high. The title refers to his agitation over whether to circumcise his soon to be born son, yet another Jewish ritual stirring confusion and fear in his soul. Flitting haphazardly between expectant-father neuroses in Woodstock, N.Y., and childhood neuroses in Monsey, N.Y., Auslander labors mightily to channel Philip Roth with cutting, comically anxious spiels lamenting his claustrophobic house, off-kilter family and the temptations of all things nonkosher, from shiksas to Slim Jims. The irony of his name, Shalom (Hebrew for "peace"), isn't lost on him, a tormented soul gripped with dread, fending off an alcoholic, abusive father while imagining his heavenly one as a menacing, mocking, inescapable presence. Fond of tormenting himself with worst-case scenarios, he concludes, "That would be so God." Like Roth's Portnoy, he commits minor acts of rebellion and awaits his punishment with youthful literal-mindedness. But this memoir is too wonky to engage the reader's sympathy or cut free Auslander's persona from the swath of stereotype and he can't sublimate his rage into the cultural mischief that brightens Roth's oeuvre. That said, a surprisingly poignant ending awaits readers.