Cynthia Ozick

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Cynthia Ozick (1928 - ….)
Cynthia Ozick was born in New York City on April 17, 1928. She was the second of two children. Her parents, Celia (Regelson) and Wiliam Ozick immigrated to the US from the northwest region of Russia. The family came from the Litvak (Lithuanian) Jewish tradition which was a tradition of skepticism, rationalism and antimysticism.
Her parents owned a pharmacy in Pelham Bay section of Bronx. They worked very hard, usually fourteen hours a day. Cynthia delivered perscriptions sometimes. Her mother was a generous, lavish, exuberant woman full of laughter whereas her father was a discreet, quiet man. He was also a Jewish scholar, and knew Latin and German.
When she was five and a half, her grandmother took her to
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Three of her stories have won first prize in the O.Henry Prize Story competition, and five of her stories were chosen for republication in the yearly anthologies of Best American Short Stories. The editor of the 1984 volume called her one of the three greatest American writers of stories living today.
Ozick has been nominated for the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award and the National Book Critics’ Circle Award. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She also received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Mildred and Harold Strauss Living Award, Edward Lewis Wallant Memorial Award and The B’nai B’rt Jewish Heritage Award. Cythia Ozick has the unique honor of being the first writer to be given the Rea Award for the Short Story. In making this selection, the first Rea Award jurors, William Abrahams, Shannon Ravenel and Peter Schimdt 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 has turned 80 earlier this year and has won not one but two lifetime achievement awards. In April 2008, she was receved the PEN/Malamud Award for short fiction and the PEN/Nabakov Award for
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