Alice Hoffman

An Essay by Alice Hoffman

I am convinced that the best time to read is summer. From the time I was a child it was clear to me that magic was best found in when school let out, when the world slowed down, when bookstores beckoned. I loved fairytales, folktales, and stories about children whose summers were interrupted by magical occurrences: a magic coin found on the sidewalk, or a nanny arriving on the wind. What I remember most about the summers of my past are the books that I read. There was the summer when I discovered Kurt Vonnegut's novels, and the summer when I read The Lord of the Ring series and the summer when all of my friends read The Mists of Avalon on a trip to Martha's Vineyard, sharing the one tattered copy we'd brought on vacation. There was the summer I read The Little Prince and cried on the train to the beach. Looking back, I remember hammocks and green lawns and fireflies, but my most vivid memories are of reading. Lying in bed with a flashlight reading Something Wicked This Way Comes when I was twelve years old. The summer of The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, the summer of Wuthering Heights, the summer of The Great Gatsby.

               And then one summer I wrote a book of my own in a room in Palo Alto looking out at the palm trees, but imagining New York City in the wintertime. I wrote Practical Magic in a shed on a marsh. I worked on the last draft of The Dovekeepers one hot August in Manhattan. I rewrote The Museum of Extraordinary Things near the harbor in Provincetown, and in a little house where everything was painted green I began The Marriage of Opposites one summer when there were fireflies and green lawns and a hammock, but more importantly, there was another story waiting to be written and then read on a summer night.

Alice Hoffman’s new book, The Marriage of Opposites, will be released August 4. Find it at any Books Inc. location!


The Marriage of Opposites By Alice Hoffman Cover Image
Unavailable, Out of Stock, or Out of Print
ISBN: 9781451693591
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 4th, 2015