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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 is the internationally-acclaimed novelist and memoirist of such books as Foreskin's Lament, Mother For Dinner and Hope: A Tragedy, which critics on both sides of the Atlantic have named the funniest book of the decade. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Esquire and many others. He lives, sadly, in Los Angeles.

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.