The ProsenPeople

Orange Prize Shortlist

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

Yesterday was a good day for Cynthia Ozick: she both turned 84 and made the Orange Prize shortlist.  Check out her speech from the 2010 National Jewish Book Awards here and read reviews of a selection of her titles below:


Cynthia Ozick on...

Thursday, February 10, 2011 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

Our 2010 Lifetime Achievement Awardee, Cynthia Ozick, talks with Alessandra Farkas at The Center for Fiction. Farkas asks Ozick:

  • Will the theme of the Holocaust always somehow be present in your writings?
  • According to one critic, Collected Stories is the book which most encompasses your literary prowess. Is this book still dear to your heart? Do you still feel a connection to it?
  • What criteria did you use in selecting the 19 short stories? What in your mind ties together the heterogeneous subject matter and characters?
  • How did the idea to retell the story of Henry James’s The Ambassadors in your new book Foreign Bodies come about? And what was your real goal in reversing the meaning of the classic?
  • What is the first book that really influenced you? How old were you when you read it?
  • Of all the female characters in your books, which one is closest to your heart? Which one resembles you the most?
  • Will you ever publish the private diary you have kept since 1953?
  • Will the Nobel ever go to another Jewish writer?
  • Are you happy to be studied in US college courses on the Holocaust along with Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel?
  • Why did you keep “The Shawl” hidden for seven years? What did you think of Sidney Lumet’s direction of your play?
  • In a recent interview, Don DeLillo told me that as long as there will be film, the novel will not die because the two are interchangeable.
  • Is it true that the novel is in danger, as you say in The Din in the Head?
  • Is your Italian translator Jewish? Should she be in order to fully comprehend your literature?
  • Please cite the most important influences in your writing career; please give a full list of writers, dead or alive. Which newer, contemporary writers seem promising?
  • Which of your contemporaries has been closest to writing the great American novel?

Read her answers here.