Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Who is Your Favorite Author?

Over the course of the past few months I have had the good fortune to have heard some great authors speak. Last night I saw Alice Hoffman, author of Practical Magic, speak at the Margaret Mitchell House. I told Ms. Hoffman that had I seen the movie Practical Magic first I would have never read any of her books. Luckily I read the book before my aborted attempt at watching the movie. Someone in the audience asked if Ms. Hoffman has had any input into the film version of her books; she said that she has not. One of my favorite Hoffman books, the River King, had it's ending changed for the movie. I was strangely relieved to hear that she had no say in what happened to her work once it was in the process of becoming a film. I say strangely, because I absolutely loathe the movie Practical Magic and I'm glad that she had nothing to do with the project. The movie captured none of the the beauty and flow of Hoffman's prose and completely masks her brilliance and unique voice as a writer.

I am not a person that asks for autographs and I don't tend to be overly impressed with celebrity. However, I could not pass up a chance to meet my favorite author and have her "bless" my writing notebook with her signature. Ms. Hoffman asked me if I write fiction and I told her that I write articles, but that I want to write fiction. Her response, "then you will write fiction." Unknowingly, she gave me what in Judaism we call a bracha, a blessing for my writing.

Who is your favorite author? What is it about their writing that speaks to you?


  1. Brilliant!

    I enjoy the writing of many people, but I have yet to meet any of them...

  2. Not that he's my favorite, but I've been reading a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Hound of the Baskervilles) for the class I teach, and loving it. This was a book that I substituted in the curriculum, and it was neat to see how much the kids liked it. I got to introduce some teens to Sherlock!

  3. Hmm... I don't know if I have a favorite author. I have favorite books, though. I tend to read contemporary fiction and new authors, so I don't read many books from the same author. But I have read at least two of Alice Hoffman's books. One I liked (The Probable Future) and another not so much (Seventh Heaven). I don't think I've read Practical Magic. I enjoyed the movie, but having read her writing, I can see how the movie probably wouldn't measure up to the book.

    It's been a while since I've read a book that I really, really liked. I think the last one was White Oleander by Janet Fitch.

  4. Anne Tyler. She has a gift for developing characters. Years after reading her books you still think about these ordinary but somewhat quirky people and there endearing personalities. Her books are heartfelt and humorous. I think I have read all of her books and it would be hard to name my favorite, but right now I am revisiting Ladder of Years about a woman that walks away from a family vacation while strolling on the beach and starts a new life for herself in a small town....sounds grim but it is touching and funny.