Abstract

As Ozick herself has noted, readers have observed a contradiction between her championing of the particularity of the Jewish writer and her insistence on the human universality of the writer who happens to be a woman. Examining Ozick’s thinking about sex and gender, this article explains why this apparent contradiction isn’t one for her. Considering the relationship between her “classical feminism” and her ideas about genius and art making, this article highlights the key claims of her polemics against “the woman writer” from the 1970s. The article then reads Ozick’s essays on Virginia Woolf and Edith Wharton from the same decade as richly unruly works of fiction that undermine some of those claims. Locating Ozick’s feminism among those of her peers in the late twentieth century, this article also points to the relevance of her ideas for the contending feminisms of the present.

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