Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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Between Memory and History: A Writer's Voice: Conversation with Eva Hoffman, author, 10/5/00 by Harry Kreisler.

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Archival photos are courtesy of Eva Hoffman.

Welcome to a Conversation With History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest is writer and editor Eva Hoffman, who is the author of three books: Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language; Shtetl: The Life and Death of a Small Town in the World of Polish Jewry; and Exit Into History: A Journey Through the New Eastern Europe. Eva Hoffman worked at The New York Times from 1979 to 1990, and she has published numerous essays and articles on cultural and political subjects for The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, The Yale Review, and other publications. Eva Hoffman is the Year 2000 Una Lecturer at the Townsend Center for the Humanities at the University of California at Berkeley.

  1. Background ... influence of parents ... importance of books and reading ... the moral education of music
  2. Becoming a Writer ... a writer versus a musician ... an immigrant's understanding of the importance of language... first diary ... finding a voice in English
  3. Being a Displaced Person ... shifting of the center ... an amateur anthropologist
  4. Being Polish and Jewish ... neither separated nor reconciled ... .historical relationship ... the story of one town: Bransk ... acts of heroism during the Holocaust ... parents' story of survival ... peaceful coexistence in a multicultural world
  5. Finding a Voice: History and Memory ... need to know the truth ... synthesis and reconciliation of identity ... comparing writing to music ... the craft of writing ... courage of the writer ... the entire story

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