Dangerous Writing

Naomi Alderman, Shalom Auslander

28/02/2006 12:00 pm
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Is Shalom Auslander taking the name of God in vain when imagining Him as a big chicken? Is Naomi Alderman’s story of a lesbian relationship in Hendon blasphemous?

Brought up as an orthodox Jew in New York, Shalom Auslander has produced a collection of short stories, Beware of God, which is viciously funny and irreverent.
Naomi Alderman’s novel, Disobedience, is about a young woman who has turned her back on her father – a respected rabbi – and his ultraconservative community who conceal their lack of humanity behind a shroud of tradition.
Are these two books dangerously iconoclastic or part of a noble tradition of transgressive Jewish writing?
Naomi Alderman

Naomi Alderman is a multi-award winning author and games writer. Her first novel Disobedience won the 2006 Orange New Writers Award. It was read on Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime, as was her second novel, The Lessons. She has guest-presented Front Row on Radio 4 and writes regularly for Prospect and The Guardian.

Shalom Auslander

Shalom Auslander comes from an ultra-Orthodox background in Monsey, New York. Nominated for the Koret Award for writers under thirty-five, he has published articles in Esquire, the New York Times Magazine, Tablet and the New Yorker and has had stories aired on NPR’s This American Life. He is the author of the short-story collection Beware of God and the memoir Foreskin’s Lament. He lives in New York.

Elena Lappin

Elena Lappin is a writer and editor. Born in Moscow, she grew up in Prague and Hamburg and has lived in Israel, Canada, the USA and London. She is the editor of ONE, an imprint of Pushkin Press.