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Hoffman, Alice

Alice Hoffman was born in New York City on March 16, 1952 and grew up on Long Island. After graduating from high school in 1969, she attended Adelphi University, from which she received a BA, and then received a Mirrellees Fellowship to the Stanford University Creative Writing Center, which she attended in 1973 and 74, receiving an MA in creative writing. She currently lives in Boston and New York. Hoffman’s first novel, PROPERTY OF, was written at the age of twenty-one, while she was studying at Stanford, and published shortly thereafter by Farrar Straus and Giroux. She credits her mentor, professor and writer Albert J. Guerard, and his wife, the writer Maclin Bocock Guerard, for helping her to publish her first short story in the magazine Fiction. Editor Ted Solotaroff then contacted her to ask if she had a novel, at which point she quickly began to write what was to become PROPERTY OF, a section of which was published in Mr. Solotaroff’s magazine, American Review. Since that remarkable beginning, Alice Hoffman has become one of our most distinguished novelists. She has published a total of sixteen novels, two books of short fiction, and eight books for children and young adults. Her novel, HERE ON EARTH, an Oprah Book Club choice, was a modern reworking of some of the themes of Emily Bronte’s masterpiece Wuthering Heights. PRACTICAL MAGIC was made into a Warner film starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. Her novel, AT RISK, which concerns a family dealing with AIDS, can be found on the reading lists of many universities, colleges and secondary schools. Hoffman’s advance from LOCAL GIRLS, a collection of inter-related fictions about love and loss on Long Island, was donated to help create the Hoffman Breast Center at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA. BLACKBIRD HOUSE is a book of stories centering around an old farm on Cape Cod. Hoffman's recent books include AQUARMARINE and INDIGO, novels for pre-teens, and The New York Times bestsellers THE RIVER KING, BLUE DIARY, THE PROBABLE FUTURE, and THE ICE QUEEN. GREEN ANGEL, a post-apocalyptic fairy tale about loss and love, was published by Scholastic and THE FORETELLING, a book about an Amazon girl in the Bronze Age, was published by Little Brown. This fall Little Brown published the teen novel INCANTATION, a story about hidden Jews during the Spanish Inquisition, which Publishers Weekly has chosen as one of the best books of the year. In January 2007, SKYLIGHT CONFESSIONS, a novel about one family’s secret history, was released on the 30th anniversary of the publication of Hoffman’s first novel. Hoffman’s work has been published in more than twenty translations and more than one hundred foreign editions. Her novels have received mention as notable books of the year by The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, Library Journal, and People Magazine. She has also worked as a screenwriter and is the author of the original screenplay “Independence Day,” a film starring Kathleen Quinlan and Diane Weist. Her short fiction and non-fiction have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe Magazine, Kenyon Review, Redbook, Architectural Digest, Gourmet, Self, and other magazines. Her teen novel AQUAMARINE was recently made into a film starring Emma Roberts.

13 Books

Book Cover of Skylight Confessions by Hoffman, Alice

On the night her father dies, Arlyn is certain that the man she is meant to be with will walk into her life. But fate seems to be playing a trick when John Moody knocks on her door to ask for directions. Cool, practical, and deliberate, John is dreamy Arlyn's polar opposite. Yet the two are drawn powerfully together even when it is clear they are bound to bring each other grief. Their marriage is dangerous territory, tracing a map no one should follow. It leads them and their children to a house made of glass in the Connecticut countryside, to the rooftops and avenues of Manhattan, and to the blue waters of Long Island Sound, all in a search for family and identity. Walking this path of ruin and redemption are Sam, their son, a brilliant, explosive artist who is drawn to self-destruction and dreams; Blanca, the beautiful loner who tries desperately to protect her brother from his destiny and lives her own life in a world of books; and Will, the grandson, who is left a legacy of broken pieces he needs to put together, an emotional and mysterious puzzle made up of people who don't know the first thing about love. Here is a family so real, so tragic, so devoted, it is as if they have written their own riveting history-a quest for love and truth. Glass breaks, love hurts, and families make their own rules. No one who reads this book will ever forget it or look at their own family in quite the same way. Skylight Confessions is a luminous and elegant work of true originality.


Book Cover of Green Angel by Hoffman, Alice

Left on her own when her family is lost in a terrible disaster, fifteen-year-old Green is haunted by loss and by the past. Struggling to survive physically and emotionally in a place where nothing seems to grow and ashes are everywhere, Green retreats into the ruined realm of her garden. But in destroying her feelings, she also begins to destroy herself, erasing the girl she'd once been as she inks ravens and bats into her skin. It is only through a series of mysterious encounters with a ghostly white dog and a mute boy that Green relearns the lessons of love and begins to heal as she tells her own story.


Book Cover of Turtle Moon by Hoffman, Alice

The New York Times bestselling author of Second Nature and Here on Earth presents "a captivating...truly original novel" (Cosmopolitan), the story of a divorced woman, her disillusioned teenage son, and the events that change their lives in ways both simple and extraordinary. When Keith Rosen runs away from his Florida home - inexplicably taking along a motherless baby - his mother is perplexed and terrified. She takes off on her own journey to find him. And Turtle Moon follows their path, in a suspenseful and beautifully written story that confirms once again the exquisite talent of Alice Hoffman. From Publishers Weekly Combining aspects of a suspense thriller and a romance, and including such surefire elements as an abandoned baby, a youngster on the verge of juvenile delinquency who is reformed, two dogs and a supernatural character who provides the requisite touch of fantasy, Hoffman's new novel has commercial success written all over it. But some readers will fail to find the enchantment provided in such previous works as Illumination Night and Seventh Heaven . The town of Verity, Fla., starts to steam up in May, when the humidity and temperature soar. (Among the things readers must accept is the dreadful, oppressive May heat; one is tempted to ask, if it's so unbearable in May, how do people live through the summer?) Verity is full of divorcees, and when one of them is murdered, Keith Rosen, "Verity's meanest 12-year-old," finds her baby, who was in fact the object of an aborted kidnapping, and runs away, instinctively hiding the threatened child. This development brings together Keith's divorced mother, Lucy, and the town's surly policeman, Julian Cash, a loner with a tragedy in his past. Despite the murder and a stalking assassin, this is really a fairy tale: Keith bonds with the baby and tames a vicious dog ("No one has ever known him the way this dog does"); a ghost/angel falls in love and brings redemption to Julian, and several people begin new lives. Hoffman lards her slick plot with ponderously sentimental observations, the kind of bromides that could be embroidered on a pillow. But she knows how to manipulate suspense and tug the heartstrings; with its cinematic flow and larger-than-life characters, her novel will make a wonderful movie. BOMC main selection; QPB alternate; film rights to Universal. Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Kirkus Reviews A mix of murder and magic in the Florida sunshine as only Hoffman (Seventh Heaven, 1990, etc.) could conjure it. Verity, Florida, once known for live alligators, is now better known for alligator salads (a mix of spinach, peppers, avocado and chopped eggs, tinted green), as well as for having more divorced women from New York than any other town in the state of Florida. Lucy Rosen is one of those women. She has recently moved to Verity, and what she doesn't know yet is that in May, when the turtles come out and crawl across the roads, anything can happen. People go crazy. Dogs bite. Ficus hedges burst into flame. This particular May, a woman in Lucy's condo complex is murdered, her baby is missing, and Lucy's own son, Keith, has vanished as well. With the assistance of Julian Cash, a reclusive Verity policeman, Lucy sets out to find out who committed the murder and what has become of the missing children. The fact that the ultimate resolution of these mysteries is only partly plausible doesn't really matter in the end. Because Hoffman's strength is that she deals in dreams. She knows all about the everyday things that defy simple explanations- -lovers who suddenly turn cold, turtles who mistake streetlights for the moon. The Florida she paints here is not the one promoted by any chamber of commerce. With a climate that is both mesmerizing and malignant, it is a place where dragonflies' wings catch fire and strangler plums drop down from trees, leaving dents in parked cars. It is a place where rattlesnakes crawl into telephone booths and angels lurk outside the Burger King. It's a place where anything might happen. And, naturally, it does. Pure Hoffman: her take on the tropics is haunting, hypnotic, and hot as a fever dream. (Book-of-the-Month Dual Selection for June) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.


Book Cover of Ice Queen, The by Hoffman, Alice

A solitary New Jersey librarian whose favorite book is a guide to suicide methods is struck by lightning in Alice Hoffman's superb novel, The Ice Queen. Orphaned at the age of eight after angrily wishing she would never see her mother again, our heroine found herself frozen emotionally: "I was the child who stomped her feet and made a single wish and in so doing ended the whole world -- my world, at any rate." Her brother Ned solved the pain of their mother's death by becoming a meteorologist: applying reason and logic to bad weather. Eventually, he invites our heroine to move down to Florida, where he teaches at a university. Here, while trying to swat a fly, she is struck by lightning (the resulting neurological damage includes an inability to see the color red). Orlon County turns out to receive two thirds of all the lightning strikes in Florida each year, and our heroine soon becomes drawn into the mysteries of lightning: the withering of trees and landscape near a strike, the medical traumas and odd new abilities of victims, the myths of renewal. Although a recluse, she becomes fascinated by a legendary local farmer nicknamed Lazarus Jones, said to have beaten death after a lightning strike: to have seen the other side and come back. The burning match to her cool reserve -- her personal unguided tour through Hades -- Lazarus will prove to be the talisman that restores her to girlhood innocence and possibility. Hoffman's story advances with a feline economy of language and movement -- not a word spared for the color of the sky, unless the color of the sky factors into the narrative. Among the authors who have played with the fairy tale's harsh mercies (e.g. Margaret Atwood, Angela Carter), Hoffman has the closest understanding of the primal fears that drive the genre, and why, perhaps, we never outgrow fairy stories, but only learn to substitute dull, wholesome qualities like personal initiative or good timing for the elements that raise the hairs on our neck and send us scrambling for the light switch. --Regina Marler


Book Cover of Survival Lessons by Hoffman, Alice

One of America's most beloved writers shares her suggestions for finding beauty in the world even during the toughest times. Survival Lessons provides a road map of how to reclaim your life from this day forward, with ways to reenvision everything—from relationships with friends and family to the way you see yourself. As Alice Hoffman says, “In many ways I wrote Survival Lessons to remind myself of the beauty of life, something that's all too easy to overlook during the crisis of illness or loss. I forgot that our lives are made up of equal parts of sorrow and joy, and that it is impossible to have one without the other. I wrote to remind myself that despite everything that was happening to me, there were still choices I could make.” Wise, gentle, and wry, Alice Hoffman teaches all of us how to choose what matters most.


Book Cover of Green Witch by Hoffman, Alice

From bestselling author Alice Hoffman, a resonant tale of overcoming grief and tragedy, as only she could tell it. In this powerful, lovely sequel to GREEN ANGEL, Green must learn the stories of a number of "witches" and free her true soul mate from a prison as she grapples with life, love, and loss in a post-disaster world.


Book Cover of Illumination Night by Hoffman, Alice

Alice Hoffman in Illumination Night follows the lives of an old woman whose last mission is to save her granddaughter's soul; a family torn apart by a wife's fears and a husband's desires-and a high school girl who comes to Martha's Vineyard against her will, and who will bring everyone together in a web of yearning, sin, and ultimate redemption.


Book Cover of Angel Landing by Hoffman, Alice

"A good, old-fashioned love story . . . Alice Hoffman's writing at its precise and heartbreaking best." —The Washington Post Things have changed in Fisher's Cove, the Long Island harbor town where Natalie spent her summers as a girl. The water used to be clean, and from her aunt Minnie's boarding house you could see all the way to Connecticut even on hazy days. Twenty years ago, Minnie never had a problem finding lodgers—but now everyone wants to be in Montauk or the Hamptons. The biggest change of all, though, is the nuclear power plant under construction on Angel Landing. Natalie's boyfriend, Carter, is leading a protest against the plant, and despite the fact that he is more devoted to his environmental work than he is to her, she has followed him to Fisher's Cove. During the days, she works as a therapist at a local counseling center; in the evenings, she ignores her aunt's disapproval as she waits for Carter to call. But after an...


Book Cover of Incantation by Hoffman, Alice

Estrella is a Marrano: During the time of the Spanish Inquisition, she is one of a community of Spanish Jews living double lives as Catholics. And she is living in a house of secrets, raised by a family who practices underground the ancient and mysterious way of wisdom known as kabbalah. When Estrella discovers her family's true identity--and her family's secrets are made public--she confronts a world she's never imagined, where new love burns and where friendship ends in flame and ash, where trust is all but vanquished and betrayal has tragic and bitter consequences. Infused with the rich context of history and faith, in her most profoundly moving work to date, Alice Hoffman's first historical novel is a transcendent journey of discovery and loss, rebirth and remembrance. **


Book Cover of Practical Magic by Hoffman, Alice

For more than two hundred years, the Owens women had been blamed for everything that went wrong in their Massachusetts town. And Gillian and Sally endured that fate as well; as children, the sisters were outsiders. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, but all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape. One would do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they shared brought them back-almost as if by magic...