The Pagan Rabbi and Other Storiesby Cynthia Ozick
Ozick is a kind of narrative hypnotist. Her range is extraordinary; there is seemingly nothing she can't do. Her stories contain passages of intense lyricism and brilliant, hilarious, uncontainable inventiveness.
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Cynthia Ozick should really be considered a national treasure. Her prose is simply without rival. There's no living American author I can think of who puts more time and effort into each and every sentence. In one of her essays, she said when she was younger she spent seven hours a day reading and sometimes all night writing. I believe. The proof is in the prose. The title story is one of my favorites. It's basically about a Rabbi who gives up his faith when he comes across a tree in a park he's certain is a minor deity like a dryad. It's an entirely original story, start to finish.