Cynthia Ozick's writing style is powerful primarily because of its lack of direct reference to the horrific events her characters undergo. Initially, the reader is unsure what kind of calamity is unfolding. Ozick mentions cold and hunger and an endless march. Only obliquely does the reader view the Holocaust: via the star sewn into the coat, a grumbling electric fence, or a Nazi SS known only by the glint of his helmet or his domino-like body. Yet, this lack of direct reference is precisely what makes the reference even more powerful. Even Magda's death is described in an almost...
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