“A marvelously thoughtful book . . . It is not just about emigrants and refuges. It is about us all.” –The New York Times
When her parents brought her from the war-ravaged, faded elegance of her native Cracow in 1959 to settle in well-manicured, suburban Vancouver, Eva Hoffman was thirteen years old. Entering into adolescence, she endured the painful pull of nostalgia and struggled to express herself in a strange unyielding new language.
Her spiritual and intellectual odyssey continued in college and led her ultimately to New York’s literary world yet still she felt caught between two languages, two cultures. But her perspective also made her a keen observer of an America in the flux of change.
A classically American chronicle of upward mobility and assimilation. Lost in Translation is also an incisive meditation on coming to terms with one’s own uniqueness, on learning how deeply culture affects the mind and body, and finally, on what it means to accomplish a translation of one’s self.
“Hoffman raises one provocative question after another about the relationship between language and culture . . . and about the emotional cost of re-creating oneself.” –Newsday
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The condition of exile is an exaggeration of the process of change and loss that many people experience as they grow and mature, leaving behind the innocence of childhood. Eva Hoffman spent her early years in Cracow, among family friends who, like her parents, had escaped the Holocaust and were skeptical of the newly imposed Communist state. Hoffman's parents managed to immigrate to Canada in the 1950s, where Eva was old enough to feel like a stranger--bland food, a quieter life, and schoolmates who hardly knew where Poland was. Still, there were neighbors who knew something of Old World ways, and a piano teacher who was classically Middle European in his neurotic enthusiasm for music. Her true exile came in college in Texas, where she found herself among people who were frightened by and hostile to her foreignness. Later, at Harvard, Hoffman found herself initially alienated by her burgeoning intellectualism; her parents found it difficult to comprehend. Her sense of perpetual otherness was extended by encounters with childhood friends who had escaped Cracow to grow up in Israel, rather than Canada or the United States, and were preoccupied with soldiers, not scholars. Lost in Translation is a moving memoir that takes the specific experience of the exile and humanizes it to such a degree that it becomes relevant to the lives of a wider group of readers.About the Author:
Eva Hoffman was born in Krakow, Poland, and emigrated to America in her teens. She is the author of Lost in Translation, Exit Into History, Shtetl, The Secret, and After Such Knowledge. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Whiting Award, and an award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Hoffman lives in London.
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Book Description VINTAGE (RAND), 1991. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0749390700