Publication Date: July 23, 2024
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From the acclaimed author of Foreskin’s Lament, a memoir of the author’s attempt to escape the biblical story he’d been raised on and his struggle to construct a new story for himself and his family
Shalom Auslander was raised like a veal in a dysfunctional family in the Orthodox community of Monsey, New York: the son of an alcoholic father; a guilt-wielding mother; and a violent, overbearing God. Now, as he reaches middle age, Auslander begins to suspect that what plagues him is something worse, something he can't so easily escape: a story. The story. One indelibly implanted in him at an early age, a story that told him he is fallen, broken, shameful, disgusting, a story we have all been told for thousands of years, and continue to be told by the religious and secular alike, a story called "Feh."
Yiddish for "Yuck."
Feh follows Auslander's midlife journey to rewrite that story, a journey that involves Phillip Seymour Hoffman, a Pulitzer-winning poet, Job, Arthur Schopenhauer, GHB, Wolf Blitzer, Yuval Noah Harari and a pastor named Steve in a now-defunct church in Los Angeles.
Can he move from Feh to merely meh? Can he even dream of moving beyond that?
Auslander's recounting of his attempt to exorcize the story he was raised with—before he implants it onto his children and/or possibly poisons the relationship of the one woman who loves him—isn’t sacred. It is more-than-occasionally profane. And like all his work, it is also relentlessly funny, subversively heartfelt and fearlessly provocative.
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