A Mash Note to Cynthia Ozick

Dear Ms. Ozick,

I am very sorry to be so late in this, but I just found your book called The Pagan Rabbi and Other Stories while on vacation in Cape Cod (at a very nice little used bookshop in Wellfleet called Herridges). It’s not that I didn’t know about your work–I had heard much about it. But I had never read.

And now, as I try to become a bit of a Yiddishist myself, well, how appropriate that your book starts with a story called “Envy, or Yiddish in America”. I would assume that there was much consternation when the story was published regarding the obvious similarities between I.B. Singer and Ostrover, Edelshtein’s nemesis.

But I have to say, that it was “The Pagan Rabbi” and “The Dock-Witch” which I found so compelling. Strange and lovely and scary.

This interview with Robert Birnbaum was also really excellent.

In retrospect, writing this post in epistolary form was a poor choice, so I’d also like to apologize for seeming so trite, hopefully this wont cause you to question the value of my respect for your fine work.

Looking forward to reading more of your wonderful work, I remain yours, etc., etc.

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