Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Delightful Alice Hoffman

Maryellen and I had the distinct pleasure of hearing Alice Hoffman speak last night at the Sanibel Public Library. She has always been one of my favorite writers - what's not to love about a novelist who examines love and loss in its many hues? I still value the little post card she sent to me some 8 years ago in response to my extended invitation to her on behalf of the Lee County Reading Festival. Even though it was a regret, I flew around the library for days with that card in my hot little hand. There's something about a personal note from a writer, especially when it's one that you feel you already know intimately through his or her work. Elizabeth Berg and Isabelle Allende come to mind. (yes, I've saved notes from each of them!)

Alice, I feel I can call her that, gives off wonderful, warm vibes. Her smile is wry and she still carries a hint of the Long Island accent that indicates she's no pushover. She seems like the kind of woman you'd like to sit around and share a bottle of wine with, while discussing esoteric subject matter and solving the world's problems. In fact, as she was signing our books last night I noticed the glass of wine at her side and approved!

Why, you might wonder, would a librarian buy a book she can find in the stacks? Well, Alice Hoffman plugs for libraries all the time. She's not just pandering as some writers do. Listeners can tell in a heartbeat. Like Nancy Pearl, Ms. Hoffman tells of a lonely childhood, an absent father and the solace she found in books. So many of us can relate, even if we weren't melancholy kids. I have to support a writer like that. Anyway, I'm tired of all those overdue notices! I'll be blogging about The Third Angel when I finish Dennis Lehane's incomparable The Given Day.

Check out Alice's great website and blog at http://www.alicehoffman.com/

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I knew you'd blog about it today!
Wasn't Alice the best?