Letters of IntentCynthia Ozick
6 April 2017
Published by Atlantic Books
‘What we ought to do, as writers, is seize freedom now, immediately, by recognizing that we already have it.’
Cynthia Ozick, one of ‘the greatest living American writers’, has, over a lifetime of observation, produced some of the sharpest and most influential works of criticism in contemporary Anglo-American writing. Described as the ‘Emily Dickinson of the Bronx’ and ‘one of the most accomplished and graceful literary stylists of her time’, her acclaimed works span topics from Henry James to Helen Keller, and from Christian Heroism to lovesickness.
The essays selected here come from the six volumes Ozick published in the USA over the last thirty-three years. Collected by David Miller, Ozick’s friend and agent, they represent the diversity, curiosity, originality, and crackling wit of her works. A volume to treasure, to re-read and to relish, this is Cynthia Ozick, ‘the Athena of America’s literary pantheon’, at her very best.
It's not unlike falling in love, reading the essays of Cynthia Ozick. Here is a mind as gentle and fierce all at once... A mind that embodies literature's finest potential.
Los Angeles Times
Even when you disagree with her, she electrifies your mind.
New York Times
Splendid... Ozick relies on sensibility and intelligence to make their own way in the world... lyric grace under intellectual pressure gives her news its staying power. Her essays invite our admiration even as they challenge us to talk back.David Lehman
As an essayist, Cynthia Ozick is a very good storyteller. Her arguments are plots... they twist and turn, digress, slow down and speed up, surprise with sudden illuminations.... She likes to spin and sparkle...
The New York Times Book Review
She is a writer innately drawn to paradox, and to the moral questions inherent in the relationships between richness and poverty, mind and body, history and imagination... In everything Ozick writes, she regards the land of the free with the head-shaking disbelief of someone who knows.Ali Smith
No American writer working today is more distinctive in everything she does on the page.