Goldie Gold­bloom is the author of Toads’ Muse­um of Freaks and Won­ders, a nov­el about Ital­ian pris­on­ers of war in Aus­tralia dur­ing World War II. She will be blog­ging all week for the Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and MyJew­ish­Learn­ing.

In a deeply dis­turbed moment — one that last­ed sev­er­al years — I wrote a nov­el called Toads’ Muse­um of Freaks and Won­ders. Ear­li­er this month, it was pub­lished, and it was only then that I thought, Oh dang…this may cause me some issues in my com­mu­ni­ty, which is, yeah, let’s face it, Chassidic.’

Issues, noth­ing. It’s going to get me freakin’ excommunicated.

So, as a help­ful guide for oth­ers, I wrote a list.

You know you’re about to get excom­mu­ni­cat­ed when:

1. You, a Chas­sidic Jew, write a book about a gay, cross-dress­ing dwarf get­ting it on with a hot Ital­ian pris­on­er of war. In a river.

2. You, a Chas­sidic Jew, start hang­ing out with lit­er­ary-type men in the local Star­bucks, and have loud and heat­ed con­ver­sa­tions about why you are chintz­ing the sex scenes between the gay, cross dress­ing dwarf and the hot Ital­ian P.O.W. and which par­tic­u­lar details to include to improve said sex scenes. And are over­heard by the local ordained Chas­sidic rab­bi. Who blushes.

3. You, a Chas­sidic Jew, get stalked by women who are a lit­tle bit crazy. (It’s the same as a lit­tle bit preg­nant.) And you don’t mind all that much.

4. You, a Chas­sidic Jew, are out­ed as queer when your friend inad­ver­tent­ly blogs about your deep­est secret. Think­ing every­one knew already. It’s like when your broth­er said every­one knew you were a dyke because you wore dyke shoes. Dyke shoes???

5. You, a Chas­sidic Jew, are approached at your kids’ school, by the most reli­gious per­son there, who polite­ly asks where she can buy your book because she wants to read it. And when you say you don’t real­ly write things that she will like, she responds by say­ing that when she was younger she read Vic­tor Hugo. And liked it.

6. You, a Chas­sidic Jew, (real­ly, real­ly you are, you promise!) offer her three pho­to­copied pages to read from your three hun­dred page nov­el and she takes you up on it and then you have a hard time find­ing three con­sec­u­tive pages that you feel com­fort­able giv­ing to her.

7. You, a Chas­sidic Jew, find your­self giv­ing a read­ing in the board­room of the local Catholic school, a mas­sive Jesus frown­ing down on you. You have this hor­ri­ble sus­pi­cion that Jesus wouldn’t have giv­en a read­ing of the New Tes­ta­ment at the local Idol­a­try school, and you sus­pect you have sold out. As Jesus wouldn’t have. But because you are Chas­sidic, you wipe this thought from your mind and pre­tend that every­thing is fine and that you are not about to be excommunicated.

Goldie Goldbloom’s new nov­el, Toads’ Muse­um of Freaks and Won­ders, is now avail­able. She will be blog­ging all week for the Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and MyJew­ish­Learn­ing.

Goldie Goldbloom’s first nov­el, The Paper­bark Shoe, won the AWP Prize and is an NEA Big Reads selec­tion. She was award­ed a Nation­al Endow­ment for the Arts Fel­low­ship, and has been the recip­i­ent of mul­ti­ple grants and awards includ­ing fel­low­ships from War­ren Wil­son, North­west­ern Uni­ver­si­ty, the Brown Foun­da­tion, the City of Chica­go, and the Eliz­a­beth George Foun­da­tion. She is chas­sidic and the moth­er of eight children.