Shalom Auslander reads his true story, "The Blessing Bee." It's about the time when, as a third-grader at an Orthodox Jewish school, Shalom saw his chance to both make his mom proud, and push his drunken father out of the picture. Part of his scheme involved winning the school's bee on the complicated Hebrew blessings you say before eating certain foods.
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Shalom Auslander knows his next door neighbor will die in 2010. He's the author, most recently, of the memoir Foreskin's Lament.
In big families, there's often one kid who always gets blamed when something goes wrong. But Shalom Auslander came from a small family, so the role of fall guy was up for grabs.
A short story about an orthodox Jewish man who dies on the operating table and goes to heaven. Where he meets God.
Shalom Auslander tells the story of the time he went on vacation, pegged the guest in the room next door as an impostor and devoted his holiday to trying to prove it. Shalom Auslander is the author, most recently, of the novel Hope: A Tragedy.
There's a famous William Carlos Williams poem called "This is Just to Say". It's about, among other things, causing a loved one inconvenience and offering a non-apologizing apology.
As a boy in religious school, Shalom Auslander is informed that his name, Shalom, is one of the names of God, and so he must be very careful not to take his own name in vain.
The New York advertising agency where Shalom Auslander works got an assignment from the State Department back in 2001: Sell American values to the Muslim world. Now they just have to figure out exactly what to say to millions of people they know absolutely nothing about.
When you're powerless, you think a lot about the powerful figures above you. Especially when their actions just make no sense.
Writer Shalom Auslander reads his short story about how he decided to start forgetting the dead, even though his job required him to remember. Shalom's most recent book is Hope: A Tragedy.
Ira talks with Shalom Auslander, who was raised as an Orthodox Jew and who made a pivotal break with his faith at a Rangers game. Shalom Auslander is the author of a book of short stories, called Beware of God.