Alice Hoffman speaks

Novelist Alice HoffmanStudents in English professor Sue Standing’s First Year Seminar were among those who heard acclaimed novelist Alice Hoffman (Here on Earth, Practical Magic, The Ice Queen) read from her work during a campus visit in September. Hoffman spoke of how traditional fairy tales have shaped her writing, which is marked by elements of magical realism. As a child, she said, she loved “the deep, dark, emotionally true stories of the Brothers Grimm…. Everything in them rang true: the unspoken sexuality, … greed, houses of candy, and cages of gold. I didn’t realize it at the time, but these stories were allowing me to explore fear and desire and sorrow.” In Standing’s seminar, “Vision and Re-Vision,” students examined how today’s artists draw on sources from the past, including fairy tales, to create new work.