This article is from 2006.
In her recent debut Disobedience, Naomi Alderman grappled with a feminist stance on Orthodox Judaism in the UK, bagging herself the Orange Award for New Writers. Perhaps her only negative review was her first, a venomous set-to from The Jewish Chronicle. It proved a surprise to Alderman, if not her family and friends, for the novel is by no means a straight assault on the community. ‘Orthodoxy, I suppose by definition, is fond of tradition and heritage,’ says Alderman, a chirpy and personable character in contrast to her rather stern press shot. ‘Orthodox Jews, like many other religions believe that the rules were laid down a long time ago and there is no changing them, which leads to some interesting problems.’
While Alderman is irritated by these rules, she can still agree that they have a point. ‘We worship the new these days, and I just think that actually it’s quite good to be reminded that some of the most important things are timeless.’ Having worked for a law firm, a charity and a computer game company, Alderman seems to be fully settled in her new vocation.
13 Aug (with Lucy Caldwell), 7.30pm, £5 (£3).