Cynthia Ozick

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Cynthia Ozick
Born (1928-04-17) April 17, 1928 (age 86)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Writer
Nationality American
Ethnicity Jewish
Period 1966–present

Cynthia Ozick (born April 17, 1928) is an American-Jewish short story writer, novelist, and essayist.[1]

Biography[edit]

Cynthia Shoshana Ozick was born in New York City, the second of two children. She moved to the Bronx with her Russian-born parents, Celia (Regelson) and William Ozick, proprietors of the Park View Pharmacy in the Pelham Bay neighborhood.[2] As a girl, Ozick helped to deliver prescriptions. Growing up in the Bronx, she remembers stones thrown at her and being called a Christ-killer as she ran past the two churches in her neighborhood. In school she was publicly shamed for refusing to sing Christmas carols. She attended Hunter College High School in Manhattan.[3] She earned her B.A. from New York University and went on to study English Literature at Ohio State University, where she completed an M.A.[2] in English literature, focusing on the novels of Henry James.[4]

Ozick is married to Bernard Hallote, a lawyer. Their daughter, Rachel Hallote, is an associate professor of history at SUNY Purchase and head of its Jewish studies program.[4] Ozick is the niece of the Hebraist Abraham Regelson. She is a resident of Westchester County, New York.[4]

Literary themes[edit]

Ozick's fiction and essays are often about Jewish American life, but she also writes on a broad range of topics including politics, history, and literary criticism. In addition, she has written and translated poetry. The Holocaust and its aftermath is also a dominant theme. Much of her work explores the disparaged self, the reconstruction of identity after immigration, trauma and movement from one class to another.[2]

Awards and critical acclaim[edit]

In 1971, Ozick received the Edward Lewis Wallant Award for her short story collection, The Pagan Rabbi and Other Stories.[5] In 1997, she received the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay for Fame and Folly. Three of her stories won first prize in the O. Henry competition.[3] In 1986, she was selected as the first winner of the Rea Award for the Short Story. In 2000, she won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Quarrel & Quandary[6] Her novel Heir to the Glimmering World (2004) (published as The Bear Boy in the United Kingdom) won high literary praise. Ozick was on the shortlist for the 2005 Man Booker International Prize, and in 2008 she was awarded the PEN/Nabokov Award and the PEN/Malamud Award, which was established by Bernard Malamud’s family to honor excellence in the art of the short story. Her novel Foreign Bodies was shortlisted for the Orange Prize (2012) and the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Prize (2013).[7]

Critically acclaimed novelist and essayist David Foster Wallace called Ozick one of the greatest living American writers.[8] She has been described as "the Athena of America’s literary pantheon," the "Emily Dickinson of the Bronx," and "one of the most accomplished and graceful literary stylists of her time."[4]

Published works[edit]

Novels[edit]

  • Trust (1966)
  • The Cannibal Galaxy (1983)
  • The Messiah of Stockholm (1987)
  • The Puttermesser Papers (1997)
  • Heir to the Glimmering World (2004) (published in the United Kingdom in 2005 as The Bear Boy)
  • Foreign Bodies (2010)

Shorter fiction[edit]

Essay collections[edit]

  • All the World Wants the Jews Dead (1974)
  • Art and Ardor (1983)
  • Metaphor & Memory (1989)
  • What Henry James Knew and Other Essays on Writers (1993)
  • Fame & Folly: Essays (1996)
  • Quarrel & Quandary (2000)
  • The Din in the Head: Essays (2006)

Drama[edit]

  • Blue Light (1994)

Miscellaneous[edit]

  • A Cynthia Ozick Reader (1996)
  • The Complete Works of Isaac Babel (introduction 2001)
  • Fistfuls of Masterpieces [9]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Reviews[edit]