In her award-winning short story, "The Shawl," Cynthia Ozick reveals the mind of a mother slogging her way through the ashes of the dead. Set in a Nazi concentration camp, the story does not focus on the political decision to exterminate an entire race, nor on the crimes and their perpetrators, but on the mind of Rosa and her struggle to keep her infant alive, despite the fact that the child's only future is certain death. Ozick's short sentences and concise syntax move quickly and efficiently forward to tell the story with a minimum of rhetoric. The story is only a few pages long, and...
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