By Gary Simeone
Long Island native and famous author Alice Hoffman was the keynote speaker at the North Shore Reads celebration at the Metropolitan on Thursday, March 26. The event was held in honor of National Library Week and it has become a popular, annual event for book lovers from seven North Shore public libraries, including Glen Cove, Sea Cliff, Gold Coast, Locust Valley, Oyster Bay-East Norwich, Bayville and Bryant (Roslyn).
“This event for North Shore Reads started seven years ago and the attendance at each event has been increasingly steadily since its inception,” said Glen Cove Library Director Kathie Flynn. “Each year we ask a Long Island-raised author or an author whose book is about Long Island to come and speak about their current novel. This year we are very lucky and grateful to have Alice join us.”
Hoffman spoke about her new novel, The Museum of Extraordinary Things, which tells the story of impassioned love between two wayward souls in the early twentieth century.
“The book is a fictional story set in Coney Island in 1911 around the time of the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire,” said Hoffman. “It involves the budding romance of a young man and woman from different backgrounds and there is a lot of secret romance and magical realism to the story.”
Hoffman was born in New York City and grew up in Valley Stream, graduating from Valley Stream North High School. She obtained a BA from Adelphi University and earned a Mirrellees Fellowship to the Stanford University Creative Writing Center. She currently lives in Boston.
She has more than 30 published books and said that she has been writing in general for more than 40 years. Her work has been published in more than 20 translations and more than 100 foreign editions.
“Writing is just something I am passionate about. I love story telling and creating characters and formulating a story between those characters with many ebbs and flows,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman is the author of best selling books including The Dovekeepers: A Novel, Green Heart, Incantation, Practical Magic and The Red Garden.
Nightbird, a new novel for middle-grade readers, is her latest publication and is due out in April.
Hoffman also helped establish the Young Writer’s Retreat at Adelphi, an intensive writing workshop where high school juniors and their teachers can experience the power of arts-based learning.