Collected Stories by Cynthia Ozick - review by Wendy Brandmark

Wendy Brandmark

Setting the Golem Free

Collected Stories

By

Weidenfeld & Nicolson 560pp £17.99 order from our bookshop
 

You don’t have to be a New York Jew to appreciate Cynthia Ozick’s fiction, but you have to be willing to cut yourself free of reality. Beneath Ozick’s modern mockery and her characters’ self-obsession lurk the prophetic rage and miracles of the Old Testament. This collection spans over thirty years of her short fiction, with many of the pieces taken from books published in the 1970s. There is only one new story. 

Her voice, whether hectoring, acerbic or impassioned, dominates these short stories and novellas. In many of the fictions, particularly the early ones, she doesn’t hide the strings of her puppetry, and this can be infuriating to a reader who wants to know her characters without interference. But if

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