Spertus, Chicago's center for Jewish learning and culture, is proud to present brainy, angst-ridden, hilarious, no-holds-barred author Shalom Auslander for two events in February. Auslander is best known for his wickedly funny 2007 memoir Foreskin's Lament and for his frequent appearances on the weekly public radio show, This American Life. At Spertus, Auslander will speak about and sign copies of his new book, Hope: A Tragedy, which went on sale Jan. 12.
On Saturday, Feb. 11 at 8 p.m., Auslander will be the guest of honor at a special Spertus reception. He will read from and speak about Hope: A Tragedy, which is his widely anticipated first novel. Tickets for the reception, featuring cocktails, desserts, and a signed copy of the new book, are $100 ($75 for individuals under 30). Proceeds from this event support Spertus' work fostering Jewish learning and culture.
On Sunday, Feb. 12 at 2 p.m., Auslander will present the winner of Moment Magazine's memoir writing contest. Founded in 1975 by Elie Wiesel and Leonard Fein, Moment is the largest independent Jewish magazine in North America. Its memoir writing contest celebrates the rich and diverse narratives of its readers. At this program, attendees will enjoy a reading by the contest's winner, followed by an appearance by Shalom Auslander, who serves as guest judge for this year's contest. Mr. Auslander will discuss personal influences on his work, including the quirks of faith and family. A booksigning follows the program. Tickets for the memoir award program are $18 ($8 for students). Tickets for either program may be bought online at spertus.edu or by calling (312) 322-1773.
Auslander grew up in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Monsey, New York. He has been called "America's hottest, funniest, most controversial young Jewish memoirist" (Times of London) and his work has been dubbed "dark and hilarious" (New York Magazine). He has published articles in Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Tablet, and The New Yorker. His short story collection, Beware of God, was published in 2005.
Auslander's books will be for sale at these programs. (Please note that these books and programs contain adult content.)