The Shawl Background

The Shawl Background

The Shawl is a historical short story written by Cynthia Ozick. First it has been published in 1980 in The New Yorker, and in 1989 it came out as a separate book.

The story reveals all the awfulness and cruelty of Nazi concentration camp. A young woman, Rosa, has been hiding her baby-daughter, but one day the child has left her hiding place and had been thrown against the eclecticized fence. The story is very emotional, in simple wording the author manages to instill the horror of the event.

The idea of writing The Shawl came to Ozick after having read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer. It is a non-fiction book telling about all the horror and brutality of Nazi Germany. Ozick was deeply impressed by some mentioned events that had really taken place in history, one of which was throwing a child against the fence by one of the Nazi soldiers. This became the main plot of her novella.

The story was received by critics and audience very well.

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