Shalom Auslander is an essayist and author. He grew up in an Orthadox Jewish neighborhood in Monsey, New York in a strict religious household.
Auslander has published a collection of short stories, Beware of God and a memoir, Foreskin's Lament: A Memoir. 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 has also written for Esquire Magazine, Gentlemen's Quarterly, The New York Times and many others. He was a finalist for the 2003–2004 Koret Jewish Book Award for "Young Writer on Jewish Themes."
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.
In January 2012, Auslander published his first novel, Hope: A Tragedy, a finalist for the 2013 Thurber Prize, which envisions a homeowner in upstate New York finding an elderly and foul-mouthed Anne Frank hiding in his attic. It won the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Prize.
Auslander wrote and created the Showtime television program, Happyish, which shot a pilot with Philip Seymour Hoffman, whom he met while adapting his novel Hope: A Tragedy for the screen. After Hoffman's death on February 2, 2014, it appeared that the TV project would be discontinued. However, it was subsequently recast with Steve Coogan in the lead role and premiered on April 5, 2015.
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