Eva Hoffman

Eva Hoffman

Polish-American writer and historian of Jewish descent. She was born in Krakow as Ewa Wydra to a family of Polish Jews, Holocaust survivors, and it was there that she completed her primary education. She wanted to become a pianist, but in 1959, on board the Batory, Hoffmann emigrated with her parents to Canada and then to the United States. She studied at Houston's Rice University, Yale School of Music and the Harvard University. Her academic achievements were later reflected in the work as an editor and literary critic. For almost 11 years since 1979, she has worked in the editorial section of the New York Times, where she polished her writing technique. In 1989, she published an internationally acclaimed book, Lost in Translation. A Life in a New Language. Admiration for the author's achievements has even been expressed by Czesław Miłosz. The book is structured in a fashion similar to translation process, a principal category of this writing and a leitmotif of Hoffmann's autobiographical narratives. She is also the author of Shtetl: The Life and Death of a Small Town and the World of Polish Jews, a book presenting the fates of two communities: Polish and Jewish (2001, translated into Polish by Michał Roniker), in which the author does not shy away from touching upon controversial and painful topics. Her latest novel, Illumination (2008, in the U.S. published as Appasionata) is a touching story of a pianist whose whole life is spent suspended in the in-between space, at the interstices of cultures, languages and communities – thus provoking the need to construct a lost identity. Eva Hoffmann now lives in London. She was a guest of the 4th day of the Festival. The photo comes from a photo agency resources CORBIS.