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A short story ("Rosa") and a novella ("The Shawl") which together tell an exquisitely powerful and moving tale of the Holocaust.
At once fiercely immediate and complex in their implications, "The Shawl" and "Rosa" succeed in imagining the unimaginable: the horror of the Holocaust and the emptiness of its aftermath. They were written in 1977 but were first published in the early 1980s in "The New Yorker," Both "The Shawl" and "Rosa" won first prize in the O. Henry Prize Stories and were chosen for "Best American Short Stories,"
In "The Shawl," a woman named Rosa Lublin watches a concentration camp guard murder her daughter. In "Rosa," that same woman appears thirty years later, "a madwoman and a scavenger" in a Miami hotel. And in both stories there is a shawl--a shawl that can sustain a starving child or inadvertently destroy her, or even magically conjure her back to life.
Cynthia Ozick is the daughter of a pharmacist. She received her B.A. from New York University and an M.A. from Ohio State (where she also taught English). She married and had a daughter, and returned to New York to write full time. All her fiction is deeply immersed in Jewish life and identity; Ozick is deeply interested in moral problems, as well as in the clash between feminism and traditional Jewish values.
"This slender but potent volume offers both a tribute to Ozick's high standing in American fiction as well as a second chance to read two numbingly superb works."
"Brilliant miniature, rich with passion and compassion. They call to be read again and again."
From the Publisher
A short story and a novella intertwine to offer a study of the Holocaust and its aftermath as Rosa Lublin witnesses the brutal death of her baby daughter in a concentration camp and, thirty years later, must struggle to cope with her emotional devastation. Book available.