Hoffman, Alice 1952–
Hoffman, Alice 1952–
Home—Boston, MA, and New York, NY.
Mirelles fellow, Stanford University, 1975; Bread Loaf fellowship, summer, 1976; Notable Books of 1979 list, Library Journal, for The Drowning Season.
Independence Day (screenplay), Warner Bros., 1983.
Local Girls (short stories), Putnam (New York, NY), 1999.
Also author of other screenplays. Contributor of stories to Ms., Redbook, Fiction, American Review, New York Times, Boston Globe Magazine, Kenyon Review, Architectural Digest, Gourmet, Self, and Playgirl.
Property Of, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 1977.
The Drowning Season, Dutton (New York, NY), 1979.
Angel Landing, Putnam (New York, NY), 1980.
White Horses, Putnam (New York, NY), 1982.
Fortune's Daughter, Putnam (New York, NY), 1985.
Illumination Night, Putnam (New York, NY), 1987.
At Risk, Putnam (New York, NY), 1988.
Seventh Heaven, Putnam (New York, NY), 1990.
Turtle Moon, Berkley (New York, NY), 1993
Second Nature, Putnam (New York, NY), 1994.
Practical Magic, Putnam (New York, NY), 1995.
Here on Earth, Putnam (New York, NY), 1997.
The River King, Putnam (New York, NY), 2000.
Blue Diary, Putnam (New York, NY), 2001.
The Probable Future, Doubleday (New York, NY), 2003.
Blackbird House, Doubleday (New York, NY), 2004.
The Ice Queen, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2005.
Skylight Confessions, Little, Brown and Company (New York, NY), 2007.
Fireflies, illustrated by Wayne McLoughlin, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1997.
Horsefly, illustrated by Steve Johnson, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2000.
Aquamarine, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2001.
Indigo, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.
Green Angel, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2003.
(With Wolfe Martin) Moondog, illustrated by Yumi Heo, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2004.
The Foretelling, Little, Brown and Company (New York, NY), 2005.
Incantation, Little, Brown and Company (New York, NY), 2006.
Practical Magic was adapted by Robin Swicord, Akiva Goldsman, and Adam Brooks into a film directed by Griffin Dunne, starring Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, and Aidan Quinn, and released by Warner Brothers in 1998; Aquamarine was made into a film directed by Elizabeth Allen, produced by Susan Cartsonis, and released by Twentieth Century Fox in 2006; a sound recording was produced of Local Girls.
Through the course of numerous novels, Alice Hoffman's work has been characterized by "a shimmering prose style, the fusing of fantasy and realism, [and] the preoccupation with the way the mythic weaves itself into the everyday," Alexandra Johnson summarized in the Boston Review. "Hoffman's narrative domain is the domestic, the daily. Yet her vision—and voice—are lyrical," the critic continues. "She is a writer whose prose style is often praised as painterly, and, indeed, Hoffman's fictional world is like a Vermeer: a beautifully crafted study of the interior life." As the author once told CA: "I suppose my main concern is the search for identity and continuity, and the struggle inherent in that search."
The protagonist of Hoffman's first novel, Property Of, for instance, is an unnamed seventeen-year-old girl enamored of McKay, the leader of an urban gang involved in violence and drugs; the story of their year-long relationship is what Times Literary Supplement contributor Zachary Leader called "a sort of punk or pop-gothic Jane Eyre." Despite the "harsh and gritty" quality of the world it portrays, Property Of is nevertheless "a remarkably envisioned novel, almost mythic in its cadences, hypnotic," Richard R. Lingeman observed in the New York Times. "McKay and the heroine are like tragic lovers in a courtly romance played out in candy stores, clubhouses and mean streets. … Hoffman imbues her juvenile delinquents with a romantic intensity that lifts them out of sociology." Edith Milton offered a similar assessment, commenting in the Yale Review that "the narrative is engrossing because Hoffman creates characters touched by legend." The critic further elaborated that Hoffman is able to balance "parody and sentiment, cutting her own flights of panting prose with acid self-mockery."
While the writing in Property Of "had speed, wit, and a mordant lyricism," Margo Jefferson remarked in Ms. that "The Drowning Season has extravagance and generosity as well." The Drowning Season follows Esther the White and Esther the Black, a grandmother and granddaughter who overcome a past of failed communication to slowly establish a relationship. Like Hoffman's first novel, The Drowning Season functions on two levels, as Susan Wood suggested in the Washington Post: "The Drowning Season, just as hypnotic and mythic in its language and rhythms, reverberates with situations and characters that suggest ancient myths and European folk tales and seems on one level to function as a symbolic, allegorical tale in a modern setting. Yet it is very much a novel about believable and imperfect human beings, as concrete and individualized as the family next door." Barry Siegel found Esther the White in particular "a truly compelling character," writing in the Los Angeles Times Book Review that while "she is the source of her family's malaise … Hoffman sees in her something much more complex than a villain." The critic concluded that Hoffman "is a superb writer who brings us to understand and to care about all her characters. … Hoffman at all times remains in control of her fine narrative."
Hoffman followed The Drowning Season with Angel Landing, a romance set near a nuclear power plant, and White Horses, the story of a young girl's obsession with her older brother. Teresa, the protagonist of White Horses, has been brought up hearing the family legend of the Arias, dangerous and beautiful young outlaws who carry women off to exciting lives; this legend led Teresa's mother into an unhappy marriage, and Teresa herself into an incestuous love for Silver, whom she sees as her ideal Aria. "Incest may be the most difficult theme for a novelist to undertake," stated Newsweek reviewer Peter S. Prescott, "yet Hoffman here makes it tolerable by the mythic mold in which she has cast her story." New York Times Book Review contributor Anne Tyler likewise saw a mythic dimension in the novel: "White Horses combines the concrete and the dreamlike. Its characters are people we think we recognize at first; but then on second thought we're not so sure." The critic continued: "There's an almost seamless transition from the real to the unreal, back and forth and back again." Stephanie Vaughn, however, faulted the novel's symbolism as "ask[ing] us to see an epic dimension that the story does not quite deliver," as she remarked in her Washington Post review. And while Tyler also thought that the novel is at times "burdened by the very musicality that was so appealing in the beginning," she admitted that "these are quibbles, and very minor quibbles at that. The overall impression is one of abundant life, masterfully orchestrated by the author." White Horses, Tyler concluded, "is a satisfying novel, at the same time mysterious and believable, and it marks a significant advance for Alice Hoffman."
While Fortune's Daughter, in the vein of Hoffman's earlier novels, "has the quality of folk tale—of amazing events calmly recounted," Perri Klass asserted in the New York Times Book Review that unlike White Horses it has "no … explicit myth. Instead, the sense of magic and elemental force arises from the central mystery of childbirth." Klass continued, "This novel's great strength lies in its two heroines, who both find themselves drawn, without plans, hopes or full understanding, into the inevitably mythological process of pregnancy and childbirth." Rae, pregnant with her first child, has just been deserted by the man for whom she left her home and traveled across a continent. Seeking reassurance, she finds Lila, a fortune teller who reads a child's death in Rae's tea leaves. Against Lila's wishes, Rae enlists the older woman's assistance with her pregnancy, evoking Lila's memories of the child she gave up for adoption over twenty years ago. The result, observed Robin Hemley in the Chicago Tribune Book World, is "an elegant and evocative novel that conjures up a kind of modern-day female mythology."
Some critics, however, such as Boston Review contributor Patricia Meyer Spacks, felt the plot of Fortune's Daughter verges on "soap-opera sentimentalities." Nevertheless, they acknowledge, as Klass wrote, that "the peculiar offbeat humor keeps the narrative from drifting into melodrama." The critic elaborated: "It is in its juxtaposition of the mythic, the apocalyptic, with the resolutely ordinary, in its portrait of eccentric characters living in a very familiar world, that this novel finds its unique voice. It is beautifully and matter-of-factly told, and it leaves the reader with an almost bewildered sense that this primal mythological level does exist in everyday reality, and that there is no event, from the standard miracle of childbirth to the most bizarre magic imaginable, that cannot occur in a setting of familiar, everyday details."
"Illumination Night, Hoffman's sixth novel, is in many ways her most subtle," Johnson claimed, describing it as "a powerful if often disturbing look at the interior lives, domestic and emotional, of a young family and the teenage girl set on destroying them all." Andre and Vonny are a young couple concerned about their son's lack of growth and the tension in their marriage caused by the unwanted attentions of Jody, a neighboring sixteen-year-old, towards Andre. "This may sound like soap opera," New York Times critic Christopher Lehmann-Haupt declared, but Hoffman "has enough power of empathy to make her characters matter to us. Daringly mixing comedy with tragedy, and the quotidian with the fabulous, she has created a narrative that somehow makes myth out of the sticky complexities of contemporary marriage." Hoffman "has a penchant for finding a near-gothic strangeness and enchantment on the edges of everyday experience," Jack Sullivan likewise commented in the Washington Post Book World.
"Subtle touches here and there make this intelligent novel shine," Gwyneth Cravens maintained in the New York Times Book Review. "Ms. Hoffman knows how to tell a story in clear language and how to avoid subordinating the meanderings of temperament to logic or plot. The characters suddenly, and believably, change their behavior toward one another in the presence of the irrational." Other critics have also remarked on the quality of the author's characterizations. Lehmann-Haupt, for example, observed that "Hoffman writes so simply about human passions that her characters are branded onto one's memory," while London Times reviewer Philip Howard stated that Hoffman "hits bull's eyes on the incomprehensions between the young and the old, on the magic and pain of ordinary life." As Candice Russell noted in her Chicago Tribune review, the author's "omniscient voice … explores the underpinnings of her characters, who become increasingly con- nected and interdependent." Sullivan similarly praised Hoffman's narrative for its "unusually fluid form of subjectivity that becomes a kind of total omniscience … without breaking the rhythm of her prose or storyline. From a technical as well as emotional standpoint," the critic concluded, "this is an impressive, stirring performance."
With At Risk, the story of a young girl whose AIDS precipitates a family crisis, Hoffman "is mainstreaming a refined literary talent," Time writer R.Z. Sheppard recounted. By taking as her subject such a topical social concern, however, Hoffman has drawn criticism from some reviewers for letting the issue of AIDS overcome the story. Washington Post writer Jonathan Yardley, for example, contended that the novel "is very much wrought from material offered by the headlines, yet it fails to shape that material into anything approximating life." But Lehmann-Haupt believed that At Risk "does succeed in overcoming these obstacles [of topicality]. From its opening sentence, we know we are in a world that is specific and alive."
Because the issues in At Risk are more self-evident than in the author's other work, some reviewers have suggested that the novel does not contain as much of a "magical" element as do her other books. But Newsweek critic Laura Shapiro contended that "this wonderful book isn't markedly different in style or imagination from Hoffman's last novel." As Chicago Tribune Books contributor Michele Souda observed, the novel contains many "dark and bizarre experiences that remind us how much Hoffman has always trusted her characters' dreams and how well she has invented them." And, as the author explained to London Times writer Catherine Bennett, "part of the reason [for the diminished emphasis on magic] is that AIDS took the place of that, that was the inexplicable part of it. AIDS is like something you'd invent, it's bizarre, it's horrible, it's kind of like a spaceship—this disease just landing. I felt that anything else I was going to add was going to reduce it." The result, concluded Souda, is that Hoffman "has taken the nightmare of our time, stripped it of statistics and social rhetoric, and placed it in the raw center of family life."
In Seventh Heaven Hoffman returns again to the illusive quiet of suburbia, this time in 1959—the cusp of a new, noisier era. Into a seemingly idyllic New York community comes Nora Silk, a divorced woman whose unconventional manner disturbs the peaceful facade of the neighborhood. Nora is struggling to begin a new life and be a good mother to her children; she has little concern for what her neighbors think of her, giving her a freedom others resent. But as she gradually adjusts to her surroundings, so does the community begin to accept her and overcome their own inhibitions. "Hoffman is out to remind us that all those suburban stereotypes, creaky facades though they may often be, are propped up by some very real, and very basic, hopes and fears," Alida Becker remarked in the New York Times Book Review. The novel contains "many of the plot twists you'd expect from a late-fifties's melodrama," the critic continued, adding that "what's unexpected, though, is the wonderful blend of humor, shrewdness and compassion that Ms. Hoffman brings to these familiar scenes."
Detroit News contributor Alice Vachss likewise praised the author's writing: "Hoffman's usual abilities—her enchanting storytelling and her gift for interweaving magic and realism—are even more finely honed than in her previous novels." Hoffman's mystical elements are effectively incorporated into Seventh Heaven, according to some critics. As People reviewer Ralph Novak commented, the author "makes greater use of the supernatural—or the allure of the supernatural—without compromising her insight into human behavior." This insight is considerable, for "Hoffman has intuitive grasp of the thoughts and feelings that are masked by conventional behavior," Sybil Steinberg noted in Publishers Weekly, commending in particular the author's "unerring understanding of people of nearly every age and across a broad social spectrum." Seventh Heaven, asserted Shapiro, "is one of the rare novels so abundant with life it seems to overflow its own pages. … Hoffman has always enjoyed a coterie of devoted fans, but her immensely winning novels deserve a much wider readership. Seventh Heaven, her eighth and best, confirms her place as one of the finest writers of her generation."
Turtle Moon and Second Nature, Hoffman's next two novels, again feature single women struggling to define life on their own terms. The novels are also infused with Hoffman's trademark use of magic and heightened realism. Turtle Moon is set in a sleepy Florida town with a large population of divorced women and follows the exploits of Bethany, a woman who has fled with her infant daughter from a child-custody fight; Lucy Rosen, a single mother; her son, Keith, a mean boy who bullies his peers and who steals at will; Julian Cash, an acerbic, taciturn policeman; and Julian's dog, Arrow, who shares his owner's temperament. The story revolves around the disappearance of Keith with Bethany's baby and the quest to solve a local murder. Reviewing the work in the New York Times Book Review, Frederick Busch averred that "Hoffman writes quite wonderfully about the magic in our lives and in the battered, indifferent world. I don't know that she's written better." New York Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani had a less enthusiastic view of the book, however, stating that it "showcases Hoffman's assurance as a writer, and her less admirable penchant for situating her characters in a slick, tricked-up plot that's decorated with pointlessly whimsical asides."
Second Nature is a tale about a wild man raised by wolves who brings love and joy to a lonely woman's suburban world. New York Times Book Review contributor Howard Frank Mosher called the novel "magical and daring" and commented that the book is written "with grace and beauty, making it at once [Hoffman's] richest and wisest, as well as her boldest, novel to date." Lehmann-Haupt, another critic for the daily New York Times, thought Second Nature's premise about the conflict between nature and so-called civilization "familiar almost to the point of cliche," but liked some aspects of the story, "many of whose complications are richly ambiguous."
Hoffman's eleventh novel, Practical Magic, is set in a small Massachusetts town and features a matriarchal dynasty, the Owenses. Specifically, the novel focuses on two Owens sisters, Gillian and Sally, and the aunts who raise them. As children, Gillian and Sally sneak down from bed to listen as their aunts prescribe love potions for the town women. Determined not to suffer from any such lovesickness when they grow older, the girls take differing paths. Gillian becomes a promiscuous vagabond who never marries or has children, while dutiful Sally survives the death of her husband and subordinates her own desires to those of her daughters. Terming Practical Magic "a particularly arch and dexterous example of [Hoffman's] narrative powers," Times Literary Supplement reviewer Lorna Sage concluded that "Hoffman spins out the intrigue with show-off skill." Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Mark Childress noted that "Hoffman's trademark narrative voice is upbeat, breathless and rather bouncy. She creates vivid characters, she keeps things moving along, and she's not above using sleight of hand and prestidigitation to achieve her considerable effects."
Here on Earth deals with a married woman, March Murray, who becomes involved with an old lover, Hollis, when she comes back from California to her native Massachusetts for a funeral. It has echoes of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. Hollis, for instance, resembles Bronte's dark, brooding Heathcliff. New York Times Book Review contributor Karen Karbo found it implausible that a smart, modern woman like March would resume a relationship with Hollis, and thought the course of their affair sadly predictable. "The madness of being madly in love is one of the most difficult subjects to write about convincingly," Karbo observed. "And you've got to give Hoffman points for trying. Unfortunately, just as March is too good for Hollis, Hoffman is too good for a story like this."
Local Girls is Hoffman's first collection of short stories, which are linked by their characters, members of a dysfunctional Long Island family, the Samuelsons. They follow the key character, Gretel, over roughly a decade of her life, beginning in her teen years. As she grows to womanhood, the intelligent, observant Gretel has to cope with troubles, including her parents' bitter divorce, her brother's drug addiction, and her mother's serious illness. Like many of Hoffman's other works, Local Girls has a strong element of female bonding—Gretel's best friend, Jill, and cousin Margot are her main sources of emotional support—and touches of magical realism. Redbook contributor Rose Martelli observed that Hoffman "turns [the Samuelsons'] trials into a celebration of family, revealing what it takes to brave real crises together." A Publishers Weekly reviewer noted that Hoffman's "disarming wit" keeps the tales from becoming depressing, adding, "she indicates that the human spirit can survive despite the cruel workings of fate." "These stories sometimes have a sketchy feel," noted Library Journal critic Barbara Hoffert. New York Times Book Review commentator Sarah Ferguson stated: "The stories suffer from a debilitating overlap when they're read as a collection. As in a soap opera, where any episode may be the viewer's first, background information is repeated and characters are reintroduced ad nauseam."
The River King revolves around Haddan School, an exclusive preparatory academy in a picturesque small town in Massachusetts. The plot turns on an investigation into the death of a student named Gus Pierce, a "Holden Caulfield-like misfit," as Entertainment Weekly reviewer George Hodgman put it. Local police officer Abel Grey suspects that Gus's drowning was no accident or suicide, but murder, and in the course of his detective work he becomes attracted to photography teacher Betsy Chase, who is engaged to another Haddan faculty member. Meanwhile, Carlin Leander, a scholarship student who had befriended Gus, encounters what she believes to be his ghost. "The puzzle of the drowning helps propel Hoffman's at times meandering narrative, but she's more interested in the mysteries of love, the crimes of the heart," observed Nancy Pate in the Orlando Sentinel. A Publishers Weekly reviewer praised The River King as "a many-layered morality tale" and Hoffman as "an inventive author with a distinctive touch," while Booklist contributor Donna Seaman credited the author with "illuminating the power of emotion and the exquisite mysteries of life." Hodgman, however, was less impressed, finding some of the characters sketchily drawn, "basic romantic types," although he felt Hoffman "does a nice job of weaving together a meandering tapestry of plots." Amanda Fortini, writing in the New York Times Book Review, had a similar take, applauding Hoffman's "good old-fashioned storytelling" but deeming her characters "so numerous that she rarely has time to develop them beyond mere tag lines." Library Journal critic Reba Leiding deemed the novel a bit too atmospheric: "One wishes Hoffman had pared down the precious local descriptions and allowed the plot, which has some unexpected twists, to shine through." Pate, though, concluded that Hoffman "is a writer who can cast a spell."
Blue Diary takes a once happy family and puts a non-removable scar on each of the members. When Ethan, a carpenter, baseball coach, and volunteer fireman, confesses to his wife, Jorie, that he is guilty of rape and murder charges against him, she vows to learn the whole truth despite the pain she knows it will cause her. Reviews for the novel were mostly positive. A Publishers Weekly contributor recalled that Hoffman often creates a rosy picture at the start of her stories before turning things around completely. For Blue Diary, the contributor noted, "Hoffman's strategy is effective." Connie Ogle, writing in the Miami Herald, described Hoffman's writing as "lyrical." Booklist contributor Donna Seaman concluded by saying this "tale of abrupt reversals and courageous, unpopular choices is as suspenseful as it is lyrical and provocative."
The Probable Future centers around a clan of women in Unity, Massachusetts who trace their ancestry back to Rebecca Sparrow, a woman who was tried and executed in the mid 1600s for being a witch. The Sparrow girls, upon turning thirteen years old, all come into their unique powers. Their personal lives, however, do not benefit from these power until the thirteenth-generation daughter is born. Reviews were mostly positive. Seaman, again writing in Booklist, said Hoffman's "cast of characters is unfailingly magnetic, from her eye-rolling teenagers to her wryly in-love seniors to her suddenly aflame fortysomethings." Kliatt contributor Janet Julian described the story as one "of love and graceful death, of mistakes and forgiveness, of willowy prose and life reflected in nature." Janice P. Nimura, writing in the New York Times Book Review, stated: "Hoffman's greatest strength here is her ability to keep the boundaries of magic indistinct." Nimura went on to conclude that "Hoffman's fans will not be disappointed."
As in Local Girls, Hoffman again used interconnected stories in Blackbird House, a book in which the common bond of the stories is a Cape Cod farmhouse. For reviewer Ellen Shapiro, writing for People, this was problematic: "When all the dust settles, it is the house itself that emerges as the book's enduring—and inspiring—character." A Publishers Weekly reviewer praised the book: "Hoffman's lyrical prose weaves an undeniable spell."
In 2005, Hoffman published her next novel, The Ice Queen. At eight years old, the unnamed protagonist of the story wishes her mother dead during a fight, and to her horror, the wish comes true. She grows up unfeeling, with a heart made of what she imagines to be ice, until, as an adult, she is struck by lightning. She seeks out a fiery man who also survived a strike and the opposites fall passionately in love. "The characters interact with a crackle of electricity, and the book's payoffs are subtle and insightful, and while unexpected, not unearned," stated Charles De Lint in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. "Hoffman incorporates elements of fairy tales, … chaos theory, and magic realism," Sandy Freund wrote in the School Library Journal. Amy Waldman called the language in the novel, "nothing less than stellar," and commented that "Hoffman reminds us how little distance there is between magic and mundane."
In addition to her novels covering a wide range of adult themes, Hoffman is an accomplished author of children's and young adult books. One such book is Aquamarine, published in 2001 and later turned into a feature film. Two best friends cope with loss as Hailey's parents go through a divorce and Claire, who is learning to accept the death of both of her parents, prepares to move in with her grandparents far away from Hailey. The girls spend their last summer at a soon-to-be-destroyed beach club and receive the help of a mermaid in coping with their separate futures. Reviews were mostly positive. New York Times Book Review contributor, Jan Benzel, noted that the book is "a lovely introduction to the author's storytelling genius and matter-of-fact, lyrical style." Hazel Rochman, writing in Booklist, said that "Hoffman's spare words reveal the magic and the gritty realism in daily life." In a School Library Journal review, Charles De Lint concludes that "Hoffman breathes full life into her characters; her prose is simple but gorgeous."
Written and published shortly after the September 11th terrorist attacks, Green Angel tells the story of an orphan who gives to others in the aftermath of a disaster. Green loses her parents in an apartment fire and becomes bitter towards life and the world around her. She eventually comes around, making new friends and caring for animals. A contributor to Kirkus Reviews commented that readers "will be moved by the powerful imagery in Green's spare, haunting narrative." Jean Boreen, writing in the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, called the book "one of those wonderful stories that blend magical realism and metaphor to provide readers with much to consider about family, friendship, and finding one's identity after it has been stripped away."
In 2005 Hoffman penned a young adult book, The Foretelling. In the story, Rain is a young girl who lives in a female-dominated Amazon community. She is shunned by her mother, the queen, because she is the product of rape. When her mother dies during the childbirth that she thought would bring her a new heir, Rain ascends to the throne and tries to protect the newborn son her mother left behind. "Many teens, particularly girls, will identify with Rain's self-doubt," noted Jennifer Mattson in Booklist. Claire Rosser, writing in Kliatt, stated that the story "holds the power of myth" and "examines what a society dominated by strong women would be like."
Incantation takes place in sixteenth-century Spain in the midst of the Inquisition. Teenage Estrella, who learns of her family's Jewish lineage, copes with the world around her when her jealous best friend turns the Inquisition on Estrella's family out of revenge. Estrella takes life as it comes, remembering from her childhood the mystical healings of the Kabbalah her grandfather taught her. Reviews of Incantation were mixed. Hazel Rochman, writing in Booklist, described Estrella's narrative as "intense." Reviewing the book in Kliatt, Myrna Marler noted that "Hoffman's signature lyricism is much in evidence but her prose is not as rich in detail as in her other books." Joanna Rudge Long, writing in Horn Book, called it "a powerfully told story of familial love and transcendence of the cruelest kind of experience."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Literary Criticism, Volume 51, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1989.
Book, May 1, 2003, Kristin Kloberdanz, review of Green Angel, p. 31, and Chris Bohjalian, review of The Probable Future, pp. 69-71.
Booklist, March 15, 1999, Brad Hooper, review of Local Girls, January 1, 2000, review of Local Girls, p. 819; March 15, 2000, Mary McCay, reviews of Local Girls, Practical Magic, and Angel Landing, pp. 1396-1397; April 15, 2000, Donna Seaman, review of The River King, p. 1500; March 1, 2001, Hazel Rochman, review of Aquamarine, p. 1278; May 15, 2001, Donna Seaman, review of Blue Diary, p. 1707; September 15, 2001, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Aquamarine, p. 225; August 1, 2002, Gillian Engberg, review of Indigo, p. 1961; March 1, 2003, Donna Seaman, review of The Probable Future, pp. 1107-1108; April 15, 2003, Gillian Engberg, review of Green Angel, p. 1462; May 15, 2004, Donna Seaman, review of Blackbird House, p. 1519; June 1, 2004, Ilene Cooper, review of Moondog, pp. 1742-1743; July, 2005, Jennifer Mattson, review of The Foretelling, p. 1916; September 1, 2006, Hazel Rochman, review of Incantation, p. 110; October 1, 2006, Donna Seaman, review of Skylight Confessions, p. 4.
Books, December 3, 2006, Mary Harris Russell, review of Incantation, p. 7.
Boston Review, September, 1985, Patricia Meyer Spacks, review of Fortune's Daughter; October, 1987, Alexandra Johnson, profile of the author.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, February 1, 2001, review of Aquamarine, p. 224; June 1, 2002, review of Indigo, p. 367; April 1, 2003, review of Green Angel, p. 316; January 1, 2007, Hope Morrison, review of Incantation, p. 217.
Chicago Tribune, August 31, 1987, Candice Russell, review of Illumination Night.
Chicago Tribune Book World, May 5, 1985, Robin Hemley, review of Fortune's Daughter.
Childhood Education, fall, 2002, Theresa Stahler, review of Indigo.
Christian Science Monitor, August 2, 2001, review of Blue Diary, p. 17.
Detroit News, September 5, 1990, Alice Vachss, review of Seventh Heaven.
Entertainment Weekly, October 23, 1998, review of film Practical Magic, p. 47; August 4, 2000, George Hodgman, "Alice's Wonders," p. 78; June 27, 2003, Amy Feitelberg, review of The Probable Future, p. 142; July 23, 2004, Henry Goldblatt, review of Blackbird House, p. 81.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, August 6, 2001, "Hoffman's ‘Diary’ Examines a Secret Past;" September 7, 2001, review of Blue Diary.
Girls' Life, June 1, 2001, Kim Childress, review of Aquamarine, p. 38.
Hartford Courant, January 7, 2007, "A Modern Fabler: Alice Hoffman Faces Her ‘Deepest Fear’ in Latest Fairy Tale."
Horn Book, March 1, 2003, Lauren Adams, review of Green Angel, pp. 211-213; November 1, 2006, Joanna Rudge Long, review of Incantation, p. 713.
Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, November 1, 2003, Jean Boreen, review of Green Angel, pp. 271-273; March 1, 2007, Justin Childress, review of Incantation, p. 507.
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 1997, review of Fireflies; January 1, 2003, review of Green Angel, p. 61; March 15, 2003, review of The Probable Future, p. 418; May 15, 2004, review of Blackbird House, p. 461; July 1, 2004, review of Moondog, p. 631; September 15, 2006, review of Skylight Confessions, p. 924, and review of Incantation, p. 955.
Kliatt, May 1, 2002, Paula Rohrlick, review of Indigo, p. 10; January 1, 2003, review of Green Angel, p. 8; July, 2003, Lesley S.J. Dr. Farmer, "Water Tales, Two Novels; Aquamarine and Indigo," p. 32; July 1, 2004, Janet Julian, review of The Probable Future, p. 19; September 1, 2004, Paula Rohrlick, review of Green Angel, p. 30; September, 2005, Claire Rosser, review of The Foretelling; September 1, 2006, Myrna Marler, review of Incantation, p. 13.
Library Journal, May 15, 1999, Barbara Hoffert, review of Local Girls, p. 130; December, 1999, Rochelle Ratner, review of Local Girls, p. 205; April 1, 2000, Joyce Kessel, review of Angel Landing, p. 150; May 15, 2000, Reba Leidling, review of The River King, p. 124; May 1, 2002, Andrea Tarr, review of Blue Diary, p. 160; March 15, 2003, Starr E. Smith, review of The Probable Future, p. 114; October 1, 2006, Beth E. Andersen, review of Skylight Confessions, p. 58.
Library Media Connection, April 1, 2003, review of Green Angel, p. 76.
London Review of Books, August 6, 1992, "Turtle Moon," p. 19.
Los Angeles Times, May 9, 1985, Carolyn See, review of Fortune's Daughter, p. 46; July 20, 2003, review of The Probable Future, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times Book Review, August 19, 1979, Barry Siegel, review of The Drowning Season.
Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, February 1, 2002, Charles De Lint, review of Aquamarine, p. 37; December 1, 2003, Charles De Lint, review of Green Angel, p. 24; October/November, 2005, Charles De Lint, review of The Ice Queen, p. 52.
Miami Herald, August 17, 2001, Connie Ogle, review of Blue Diary; January 24, 2007, review of Skylight Confessions.
Midwest Bookwatch, March 1, 2007, review of Skylight Confessions.
Ms., August, 1979, Margo Jefferson, review of The Drowning Season.
Nation, November 26, 1990, Melissa Pritchard, review of Seventh Heaven, p. 650.
New Leader, May 1, 2003, review of The Probable Future, p. 36.
New York Times, July 14, 1977, Richard R. Lingeman, review of Property Of, p. 16; July 25, 1987, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, review of Illumination Night; August 10, 1990, review of Seventh Heaven, p. B2; April 21, 1992, Michiko Kakutani, review of Turtle Moon, p. B2; February 10, 1994, Ruth Reichl, "At Home with Alice Hoffman: A Writer Set Free by Magic"; February 24, 1994, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, review of Second Nature, p. B2; December 2, 2001, review of Blue Diary, p. 63; January 7, 2007, Marcelle S. Fischler, "People Who Live," p. 9.
New York Times Book Review, November 9, 1980, Larry McMurtry, review of Angel Landing, p. 14; March 28, 1982, Anne Tyler, review of White Horses, p. 11; March 24, 1985, Perri Klass, review of Fortunte's Daughter, p. 7; August 9, 1987, review of Illumination Night, p. 7; July 17, 1988; August 5, 1990, Alida Becker, review of Seventh Heaven, p. 2, and review of At Risk, p. 7; April 26, 1992, Frederick Busch, review of Turtle Moon; February 6, 1994, Howard Frank Mosher, review of Second Nature, p. 13; June 25, 1995, Mark Childress, review of Practical Magic, p. 25; September 14, 1997, Karen Karbo, review of Here on Earth; June 13, 1999, Sarah Ferguson, review of Local Girls, p. 31; July 16, 2000, Amanda Fortini, review of The River King, p. 12; June 3, 2001, Jan Benzel, review of Aquamarine, p. 49; August 5, 2001, review of Blue Diary, p. 22; August 4, 2002, Scott Veale, review of Blue Diary, p. 20; December 8, 2002, review of Blue Diary, p. 80; July 6, 2003, Janice P. Nimura, review of The Probable Future, p. 26; February 4, 2007, Louisa Thomas, review of Skylight Confessions, p. 18.
New Yorker, May 3, 1982, review of White Horses, p. 165; July 27, 1992, review of Turtle Moon, p. 72; April 11, 1994, review of Second Nature, p. 99.
Newsweek, May 23, 1977, review of Property Of, p. 87; April 12, 1982, Peter S. Prescott, review of White Horses, p. 82; August 1, 1988, Laura Shapiro, review of At Risk, p. 52; August 20, 1990, review of Seventh Heaven, p. 62.
Orlando Sentinel, August 2, 2000, Nancy Pate, review of The River King.
People, September 3, 1990, Ralph Novak, review of Seventh Heaven; July 3, 1995, Meg Cohen Ragas, review of Practical Magic, p. 31; August 14, 2000, review of The River King, p. 14; July 26, 2004, Ellen Shapiro, review of Blackbird House, p. 47; May 9, 2005, Amy Waldman, review of The Ice Queen, p. 51; January 29, 2007, Michelle Green, review of Skylight Confessions, p. 57.
Ploughshares, fall, 2003, Maryanne O'Hara, "About Alice Hoffman: A Profile by Maryanne O'Hara," pp. 194-198.
Publishers Weekly, June 1, 1990, Sybil Steinberg, review of Seventh Heaven, p. 48; February 3, 1992, review of Turtle Moon, p. 61; November 29, 1993, review of Second Nature, p. 53; March 20, 1995, review of Practical Magic, p. 40; September 15, 1997, review of Fireflies, p. 76; May 3, 1999, review of Local Girls, p. 1259; June 5, 2000, review of The River King, p. 71; July 31, 2000, Daisy Maryles, "Women, Women, Women," p. 21; August 14, 2000, review of Horsefly, p. 355; February 19, 2001, review of Aquamarine, p. 92; June 4, 2001, review of Blue Diary, p. 54; March 11, 2002, review of Indigo, p. 73; April 22, 2002, review of Aquamarine, p. 73; January 6, 2003, review of Green Angel, p. 60; May 15, 2003, review of The Probable Future, p. 196; November 10, 2003, review of Green Angel, p. 37; June 21, 2004, review of Blackbird House, p. 42; August 9, 2004, review of Moondog, p. 248; October 16, 2006, review of Incantation, p. 54; November 6, 2006, review of Skylight Confessions, p. 37.
Redbook, July, 1999, Rose Martelli, review of Local Girls, p. G1.
Sacramento Bee, January 29, 2007, "Practically Magic."
School Librarian, winter, 2003, review of Green Angel.
School Library Journal, November 1, 1997, Patricia Manning, review of Fireflies, p. 83; October 1, 2000, Louise L. Sherman, review of Horsefly, p. 127; March 1, 2001, Patricia A. Dollisch, review of Aquamarine, p. 250; August 1, 2002, Farida S. Dowler, review of Indigo, p. 188; March 1, 2003, Renee Steinberg, review of Green Angel, p. 234; July 1, 2003, Pam Johnson, review of The Probable Future, p. 152; December 1, 2003, review of The Probable Future, p. 51; April 1, 2004, review of Green Angel, p. 64; October 1, 2004, Maria B. Salvadore, review of Moondog, p. 118; September, 2005, Sandy Freund, review of The Ice Queen, p. 244; December 1, 2006, Renee Steinberg, review of Incantation, p. 144.
Time, July 18, 1988, R.Z. Sheppard, review of At Risk, p. 68.
Times (London, England), November 28, 1985; October 1, 1987, Philip Howard, review of Illumination Night; October 1, 1988, Catherine Bennett, review of At Risk.
Times Educational Supplement, July 18, 2003, review of Aquamarine, p. 29; July 18, 2003, review of Green Angel, p. 29; September 5, 2003, review of The Probable Future, p. 17.
Times Literary Supplement, April 21, 1978, Zachary Leader, review of Property Of, p. 432; March 11, 1988, review of Illumination Night, p. 276; March 25, 1994, review of Second Nature, p. 21; July 5, 1996, Lorna Sage, review of Practical Magic, p. 23; September 14, 2001, Juliet Fleming, review of Blue Diary, p. 22; August 22, 2003, Sarah Churchwell, review of Flights of the Sparrow Women: Alice Hoffman's Brand of New England Magic., p. 17; January 19, 2007, Zoe Strimpel, review of A Man from the Mist, p. 21.
Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), June 26, 1988, Michele Souda, review of At Risk; August 5, 1990; April 26, 1992, p. 6; February 20, 1994; August 6, 1995; September 30, 2001, review of Blue Diary, p. 2; August 4, 2002, review of Blue Diary, p. 6; December 7, 2003, review of Green Angel, p. 5.
Voice of Youth Advocates, April 1, 2001, review of Aquamarine, p. 52; August 1, 2002, review of Indigo, p. 202; April 1, 2003, review of Green Angel, p. 51; December 1, 2006, Ruth Cox Clark, review of Incantation, p. 442.
Washington Post, August 2, 1979, Susan Wood, review of The Drowning Season; April 13, 1982, Stephanie Vaughn, review of White Horses; June 29, 1988, Jonathan Yardley, review of At Risk.
Washington Post Book World, August 2, 1987, Jack Sullivan, review of Illumination Night.
WWD, January 9, 2007, Vanessa Lawrence, "Dream Weaver," p. 4.
Yale Review, winter, 1978, Edith Milton, review of Property Of.
Alice Hoffman Home Page,http://www.alicehoffman.com (August 25, 2004), author biography.
BookBrowse.com,http://www.bookbrowse.com/ (August 25, 2004), "Alice Hoffman."
Book Page,http://www.bookpage.com/ (August 6, 2004), Ellen Kanner, "Making Believe: Alice Hoffman Takes Her Practical Magic to the River."
Bookreporter.com,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (August 6, 2004), interview with Hoffman.
Romance Reader,http://www.romancereader.com/ (August 6, 2004), Susan Scribner, review of Practical Magic.