Shalom Auslander | Hope: A Tragedy with Ben Marcus | The Flame Alphabet

Tue, January 17, 2012 7:30 P.M.
Cost: FREE

"With his middle finger pointed at the heavens and a hand held over his heart, Shalom Auslander gives us Foreskin’s Lament," wrote Benjamin Anastas in the New York Times Book Review about Auslander’s memoir of growing up in a troubled Orthodox Jewish family and deciding whether or not to circumcise his son. Auslander's stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker and Esquire and on This American Life. He is also the author of the story collection Beware of God, nominated for the prestigious Koret Foundation’s Young Writer on Jewish Themes Award. His first novel, Hope: A Tragedy is a mordant portrait of the burdens of history in rural New York, where a lunatic is burning down farmhouses, and the past—hiding in an attic—haunts the present. 

In Ben Marcus's dark new novel, The Flame Alphabet, children’s speech is fatally toxic to their parents. To survive, one couple abandons their daughter, Esther—hoping a cure will appear before she, too, is old enough to become a victim—and they discover government research labs running horrific tests on non-lethal speech. Marcus's nightmarish vision is both completely alien and frighteningly familiar. The author of three previous books, including Notable American Woman, The Father Costume, and The Age of Wire and String, Marcus is a recipient of a Whiting Writers Award and three Pushcart Prizes. His stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, including McSweeney's, The Paris Review, and the New York Times.


Parkway Central Library
1901 Vine Street (between 19th and 20th Streets on the Parkway)
Philadelphia, PA 19103