If you find “Dictation,” Cynthia Ozick’s new collection of short stories as charming as I do, you might want to further treat yourself by finding a collection of Ozick’s writings that contains “A Drugstore in Winter.”
Ozick’s parents were the proprietors of a pharmacy in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx, NY, in the 1930s. In those days, a traveling library used to visit the Ozick’s neighborhood. At the end of their long day, the weary librarians would come to the Ozick’s pharmacy and drink coffee at the counter.
In those moments of dusk, Ozick – blissfully – dipped into their boxes of books. And right then and there, a reader – and, eventually, a writer – was born. It’s a pleasure to look at “Dictation” – the work of a skilled and seasoned writer – and think of the little girl who once cut her teeth on fairy tales.