Eva Hoffman, born .in Cracow, Poland, had immigrated to Canada with her family. Her parents had hidden in Ukraine to escape the persecution of Jews. It was in 1959 that this family arrived in Vancouver, US. (Hoffman,1989,p.3) Bukowczyk (2006, p.159) has categorized the exodus from Poland to other countries into two major groups. He has written that “some fled Nazi oppression. others the Soviet “iron curtain” (Bukowczyk, 2006, p.159). Eva Hoffman was one of those thousands of refugees. Remembering the life of a refugee in a new land, she (Hoffman, 1989, p.160) has said that “I am a quantum particle, trying to locate myself in a swirl of atoms,” in her famous book, ‘Lost in Translation’. The book opens with a very pessimistic note. She writes, “I am thirteen years old and we are emigrating. It’s a notion of such crushing definitive finality that to me it might as well mean the end of the world. “ (Hoffman, p.3)
But it was not the end of the world. Hoffman grew up to become a renowned writer. Hoffman’s writings have as a common thread, the dilemma of a person who is torn apart between two cultures. She studied at Harvard and took her Ph.D. in English and American literature and was an editor at the .New York Times. The fine line between fiction and nonfiction gets blurred in her writing just as Eva starts feeling it difficult to distinguish between reality and fiction in her life, caused by the uprooting from Poland and forced to grow roots in an alien land.
Hoffman’s major works include, ‘Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language’, ‘Exit Into History: A Journey through the New Eastern Europe’, .‘Shtetl: The Life and Death of a Small Town and the World of Polish Jews’, ‘After Such Knowledge: Memory, History and the Legacy of the Holocaust’, and also one novel, .‘The Secret’. .Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language’ was written in 1989. ‘Shtetl: The Life and Death of a Small Town and the World of Polish Jews’ came out in 1997.