Shmutz: A Novel
“Hilarious and endearing...Shmutz is a dirty book with a pure heart.” —The New York Times
In this witty, provocative, and “compulsively readable coming-of-age story” (Cosmopolitan), a young Hasidic woman on a quest to get married fears she will never find a groom because of her secret addiction to porn.
Like the other women in her ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn community, Raizl expects to find a husband through an arranged marriage. Unlike the other women, Raizl has a secret.
With a hidden computer to help her complete her college degree, she falls down the slippery slope of online pornography. As Raizl dives deeper into the world of porn at night, her daytime life begins to unravel. Between combative visits with her shrink to complicated arranged dates, Raizl must balance her growing understanding of her sexuality with the expectations of the family she loves.
“Clever, subversive, juicy, and surprising” (Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies), Shmutz explores what it means to be a fully realized sexual and spiritual being caught between the traditional and modern worlds.
Felicia Berliner has an MFA from Columbia University. Shmutz is her first novel.