A short story ("Rosa") and a novella ("The Shawl") which together
tell an exquisitely powerful and moving tale of the Holocaust.
At once fiercely immediate and complex in their implications,
"The Shawl" and "Rosa" succeed in imagining the unimaginable: the
horror of the Holocaust and the emptiness of its aftermath. They
were written in 1977 but were first published in the early 1980s in
"The New Yorker," Both "The Shawl" and "Rosa" won first prize in
the O. Henry Prize Stories and were chosen for "Best American Short
In "The Shawl," a woman named Rosa Lublin watches a
concentration camp guard murder her daughter. In "Rosa," that same
woman appears thirty years later, "a madwoman and a scavenger" in a
Miami hotel. And in both stories there is a shawl--a shawl that can
sustain a starving child or inadvertently destroy her, or even
magically conjure her back to life.