"I can't really work on more than one thing at a time." -- Alice Hoffman
Alice Hoffman (born March 16, 1952) is an American novelist and young-adult and children's writer, best known for her 1996 novel Practical Magic, which was adapted for a 1998 film of the same name. Many of her works fall into the genre of magic realism and contain elements of magic, irony, and non-standard romance and relationships.
"After a while, the characters I'm writing begin to feel real to me. That's when I know I'm heading in the right direction.""All the characters in my books are imagined, but all have a bit of who I am in them - much like the characters in your dreams are all formed by who you are.""Among men and women, those in love do not always announce themselves with declarations and vows. But they are the ones who weep when you're gone. Who miss you every single night, especially when the sky is so deep and beautiful, and the ground so very cold.""Any institution becomes a community - whether it's a high school or a boarding school or a publishing company or a small town where everybody knows certain things about people.""Anyway, the sort of love that will not wait is probably best to pass by.""Even in times when it's difficult to figure out, how do you go forward, art - and books - always help.""Every time I finish a book, I forget everything I learned writing it - the information just disappears out of my head.""Hawthorne has given us a tradition that some people refer to as Yankee Magic Realism, and I do think there is a certain quality to the landscape that definitely leads into the dark woods.""I also like the whole idea of fairy tales and folk tales being a woman's domain, considered a lesser domain at the time they were told.""I always felt and still feel that fairy tales have an emotional truth that is so deep that there are few things that really rival them.""I always quit at three when my kids come home from school so I feel pretty spoiled.""I did go there later, but I hadn't been there before I wrote the book. Sometimes I feel like the imagined can feel more real than the real?""I don't really read as much as I used to. A lot of what I was looking for as an escape I find in writing. And the other thing is that I don't want to get into someone else's language when I'm working.""I don't think I make much of a distinction between the 'real' and the 'fantastic.' They both seem to be threads in the same cloth as far as I'm concerned.""I feel more influenced in my own work by dreams than I do by other writers' works in a way. Or by popular culture, movies - what else is there to write about than love and loss?""I never plot out my novels in terms of the tone of the book. Hopefully, once a story is begun it reveals itself.""I never see a novel as a film while I'm writing it. Mostly because novels and films are so different, and I'm such an internal novelist.""I really feel like the gift is also the curse. It's always half-and-half. Whatever brings you the most joy will also probably bring you the most pain. Always a price to pay.""I think growing up is difficult and it's a process that I'm always interested in, with kids and adults, they are often on two different universes.""I think love is a huge factor in fiction and in real life. Is there a risk? Always. In fiction and in life.""I think secrets often come out. I spoke to a friend who is a therapist and I asked her if there were people who came to her and admitted to doing horrible things and she said, 'More than you know.'""I think we are bound to, and by, nature. We may want to deny this connection and try to believe we control the external world, but every time there's a snowstorm or drought, we know our fate is tied to the world around us.""I'm much faster now. When you only have a certain amount of time to write, after a while you learn to use your time well or you stop writing.""I've been a screenwriter for twenty-five years. Every one of my books have been optioned for movies and I have written a few of those screenplays.""Ironically, now that my children are older and gone quite a bit, I find it harder to work when they're not around. Too much free time!""It was a great escape for me and it was a way to take a break from what was going on in my own world, to go into another world.""Mothers always find ways to fit in the work - but then when you're working, you feel that you should be spending time with your children and then when you're with your children, you're thinking about working.""No one knows how to write a novel until it's been written.""The adults don't know what's happening on the kids' universe and the kids don't know what's happening on the adults' universe.""The original fairy tale was about the youngest sister going into a room in the castle and finding all the bodies of the wives that came before her - she is confronted with truth, thinking about how often we think we know people and we really don't.""They were written on cheap blue notebooks bought by poor women. I'm interested in folk tales in the way that medicine and magic in women's stories are all kind of combined.""You can try to take sorrow and make it into something enduring, meaningful and beautiful. I always feel guilty that this is my job, that I get to do this."
Born in New York City, and raised on Long Island, Hoffman graduated from Adelphi University, where she received her BA, and received an MA in creative writing from Stanford University, where she was an Edith Mirrielees Fellow. Her first job was at the Doubleday publishing house, which later published two of her novels.
She wrote the screenplay for the 1983 film Independence Day, starring Kathleen Quinlan and Dianne Wiest.
Hoffman currently lives in New York & Boston, with her husband. After being treated for breast cancer at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, she helped establish the hospital's Hoffman Breast Center. Women’s Services—The Hoffman Breast Center