Norma Rosen

In her novels and essays, Norma Rosen found new and powerful ways to approach difficult issues from abortion to the Holocaust. Rosen graduated from Mount Holyoke in 1946 and went on to study dance with Martha Graham and teach English and dance at Riverdale Country School. She earned a master’s degree in English from Columbia in 1953 and worked for Harper & Row from 1954–1959, quitting after she sold two stories to Commentary and Mademoiselle. In 1962 she published her first novel, Joy to Levine! She began teaching at various universities in 1965, including NYU, Columbia, Harvard and Yale. Raised secular and assimilated, Rosen began exploring Jewish history and religion in adulthood—her study of the Holocaust led to Touching Evil in 1969 and her discovery of compassionate rabbinic stances on abortion led to At the Center in 1982. In 1992 Rosen published her first collection of essays, Accidents of Influence: Writing as a Woman and a Jew in America, which discussed topics ranging from suburban motherhood to Jewish feminism. In 1996 she also published a collection of midrash called Biblical Women Unbound: Counter-Tales.


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Norma Rosen's novel Touching Evil contemplates the Holocaust.

Date of Birth

Brooklyn, NY
United States

Writer, Educator, Editor, Professor

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Norma Rosen." (Viewed on October 20, 2020) <>.


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