Cynthia Ozick’s “The Shawl”

Resource Kit by
Josh Lambert

Module Content

Introduction

Introduction

“The Shawl” is one of the most celebrated and widely taught short stories by the great American Jewish writer Cynthia Ozick (1928–). It was first published in the New Yorker on May 26, 1980, and it was awarded first prize by the O. Henry Prize for the Short Story in 1981. A very short story, it describes a mother and her infant daughter and their experiences in a Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust. Ozick, whose family immigrated to the United States before World War II, has raised questions about the ethics of writing fiction about the experiences of those who lived and died in the Holocaust. 
 
Cover Image: Cynthia Ozick in black and white, courtesy of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, OH, www.americanjewisharchives.org.