BORN: March 16, 1952, New York, New York IDENTIFICATION: Writer of novels, short stories, children's books, and screenplays who habitually introduces magic, spells, and enchantment into her fiction as if they were ordinary, everyday occurrences.
SIGNIFICANCE: Alice Hoffman mingles the fantastic with the realistic in depicting her characters and their (usually troubled) suburban family relationships. A crack stylist whose prose is tremendously admired by reviewers and readers, Hoffman seeks to shape contemporary life—usually that of women, particularly strong women—according to the structures of mythology and folklore. The domestic scene is her milieu of choice, but its features— witches, magic, the supernatural—are just a bit unexpected. Her very popular novel Practical Magic (which was made into a film in 1998) in characteristic fashion sets the two women's conjuring within the frame of a thorny love life. Hoffman is also an occasional writer for the screen.