The Big Read Blog (Archive)

The Resilience of Rosa Lublin in The Shaw

Photo from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Instytut Pamieci Narodowej

Cynthia Ozick's character in The Shawl, Rosa Lublin, is too real for comfort. Surviving the Holocaust left Rosa damaged beyond repair. She's broken, angry, and overflowing with sorrow. This sorrow follows her to America where, Ozick writes, "It seemed to Rosa Lublin that the whole peninsula of Florida was weighted down with regret. Everyone had left behind a real life. Here they had nothing. They were all scarecrows, blown about under the murdering sunball with empty rib cages." But somehow she manages to find hope in the imagined life of her dead daughter, Magda, her baby that did not survive the concentration camp. X




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