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Dwell in the past with 2 new books, including Cynthia Ozick’s latest

Some of us prefer not to dwell on the past, while there are others who emphatically choose to dwell in it. How we relate to our history and its reverberations colors our lives. Two eagerly awaited, and unconventionally written, new books look backward and offer powerful insights.

Released just prior to her 93rd birthday, “Antiquities” is Cynthia Ozick’s first work of fiction in more than a decade. Set in 1949, the novella is in the words of retired attorney Lloyd Wilkinson Petrie, who now resides at the long-closed elite boarding school of his boyhood in New York’s Westchester County. The decaying property of the Temple Academy for Boys has been converted into apartments for the school’s seven remaining trustees, along with the staff that tends to them.