Adelphi University Acquires Literary Papers of Author and Alumna Alice Hoffman ’73

The Literary Papers of Alice Hoffman come home to Long Island.

Print Email

Garden City, NY - June 25, 2015 - Bestselling author Alice Hoffman ’73 has donated her archive to Adelphi University, her alma mater.

This remarkable collection includes literary and personal papers, photographs, illustrations, marketing ephemera, appointment calendars and an extensive set of editions and translations of her books.

“As a former and very grateful student of Adelphi University, I am so pleased that a collection of my work will now be in the library,” Hoffman said. “My connection to Adelphi has lasted more than 40 years, and it is the perfect home for my books and papers.”

The literary manuscripts, which are at the heart of the collection, reach back to Hoffman’s days as a creative writing student at Adelphi and forward to her most recent work, covering the breadth of her successful and critically acclaimed literary career.  The correspondence in the collection includes letters from editors, professors and fellow writers such as Judy Blume, Annie Dillard, John Irving, Walter Mosley, Amy Tan and Scott Turrow.

A prolific and multi-faceted writer, Hoffman has produced novels, screenplays, essays and works for children and young adults—a diversity of output that is reflected throughout the collection.

“The impressive range of manuscript material present in the collection is a testament to Alice’s remarkable versatility, energy and commitment to craft as a writer,” said David Ranzan, Adelphi University archivist and special collections librarian.  “The shelves—yes ‘shelves’ plural—of editions and translations of her books in the collection attest to the international reach and popularity of her work.”

Born in 1952, Hoffman grew up in Franklin Square, New York. After a very short stint working at the Doubleday Factory in Long Island, she enrolled at nearby Adelphi University to study English and anthropology.  Hoffman published her first novel, Property Of, at age 22 while enrolled at Stanford University where she would earn an M.A. in Creative Writing, working closely with the critic and novelist Albert Guerard.  Among the manuscripts in the collection from this period is a typescript with handwritten edits of her first publication, a short story that appeared in the magazine Fiction.   

To date, Hoffman has authored 23 novels, 3 books of short fiction and 8 books for young adults. Her works frequently top best-seller lists and have been hailed as notable books of the year by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Library Journal and People Magazine.

Hoffman’s work has also been adapted for film and television.  Her best-seller Practical Magic was made into a feature film starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, and her much-praised 2011 historical novel, The Dovekeepers, was turned into a recently broadcast popular CBS miniseries. Hoffman’s work as a screenwriter includes the screenplay for the film Independence Day starring Kathleen Quinlan, David Keith and Dianne Wiest.

“Alice Hoffman’s generous donation of her papers provides an extraordinarily rich resource for students and faculty here at Adelphi and the larger scholarly community,” said Dean of University Libraries Brian Lym. “This collection will be of immense value to any student or researcher seeking to know more about Alice Hoffman and her work specifically, and contemporary American literary culture more generally. We are thrilled to add such an extensive collection from such a prominent writer and Adelphi alumna to our holdings.”

Generous in her philanthropy, Hoffman is a lead sponsor of the Adelphi University Alice Hoffman Young Writers Retreat, an intensive summer writing workshop for high school students and their teachers, and has been a supporter of the Adelphi New York Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program.  She also donated the advances from her nonfiction work Survival Lessons and her story collection, Local Girls, to support the Hoffman Breast Center at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA. 

The extensive collection is currently being catalogued and processed and will be open to researchers in 2016.

About Adelphi University
A world-class, modern university, Adelphi has excellent and highly relevant programs in which students prepare for lives of active citizenship and professional careers. Through its schools and programs—the College of Arts and Sciences, the Gordon F. Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies, the Honors College, the Robert B. Willumstad School of Business, the Ruth S. Ammon School of Education, University College, the College of Nursing and Public Health, and the School of Social Work—the coeducational university offers undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as professional and educational programs for adults. As a nationally-ranked, doctoral research university, Adelphi University currently enrolls nearly 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 43 states and 45 foreign countries. With its main campus in Garden City and its centers in Manhattan, Suffolk County and Poughkeepsie, the University, chartered in 1896, maintains a commitment to liberal studies, in tandem with rigorous professional preparation and active citizenship.