Cynthia Ozick: OH-zik
Cynthia Ozick was born in Manhattan and has lived in the New
York City area most of her life. She attended Hunter College High School,
graduated Phi Beta Kappa from New York University with honors in English, and
holds a masters degree from Ohio State University. She lives in Westchester
County and is married to Bernard Hallote, a retired lawyer. Their daughter,
Rachel S. Hallote, an archaeologist, is the director of the Jewish studies
program at the State University of New York at Purchase.
She is acclaimed for her many works of fiction and criticism. She was a finalist for the National Book Award for her previous novel, The Puttermesser Papers, which was named one of the top ten books of the year by the New York Times Book Review, Publishers Weekly, and the Los Angeles Times Book Review. Her most recent essay collection, Quarrel & Quandary, won the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. Ozicks work has been translated into thirteen languages worldwide. Her classic novella The Shawl was produced for the stage in New York, directed by Sidney Lumet.
Without question, Cynthia Ozick is among the major living American writers. She has published widely beginning with the novel Trust in 1966. Over the years she has written poems, short stories, essays, novels, and plays. Among them: The Pagan Rabbi and Other Stories (1971); Art & Ardor: Essays (1983); The Cannibal Galaxy (1983); The Messiah of Stockholm (1987); Metaphor & Memory: Essays (1989); The Shawl (1989); Epodes: The First Poems (1992); Portrait of the Artist as a Bad Character and Other Essays on Writing (1994); and Fame & Folly (1996). Her many awards include a Guggenheim fellowship and the Mildred and Harold Strauss Living Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.
She has the unique honor of being the first writer to be given the Rea Award for the Short Story. In making their selection, the jurors said: "A writer of great intelligence, moral energy, and imaginative power, Cynthia Ozick has appreciably widened the range of what the short story is able to be . . . Reading The Shawl, we are moved past the truth of fact to a deeper, different understanding; we bear witness to the truth of art. Only rarely does this happen, and when it does, it must be celebrated."
She published Heir To The Glimmering World in 2004 and Foreign Bodies in 2010.
This biography was last updated on 06/13/2011.
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An Interview With Cynthia Ozick
In Heir to the Glimmering World there are several actual
heirs, including the profligate James ABair a character inspired by the
son of A. A. Milne, creator of Winnie-the-Pooh. What was the source of this
Some time ago I happened on the obituary of Christopher Milne, A. A. Milnes grown son, whom we know mainly through Ernest Shepards indelible illustrations of a small boy in short pants. At his death he was the owner of a bookshop hidden away in the north of England, having attempted all his life to slough off his identification with Pooh and Eeyore and all the rest. He wanted to flee from the artifice of his fathers creation: he longed to become an autonomous adult, to be a man, not the object of nostalgic pilgrimages to a living shrine not of his making. Or so I thought, reading that obituary notice. In my novel the character inspired by Christopher Robin is named James ABair, eventually to be dubbed the Bear Boy. The Bear Boy struggles to climb out of what Thomas Mann called "the well of the past," the past that has immured him in an imaginary childhood. His single-minded aim is to escape being costumed forever in lace collar ...
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