Alice Hoffman has written more than thirty works of fiction, including “The Marriage of Opposites,” “The Museum of Extraordinary Things” and “Practical Magic.” Her latest novel is called “Faithful.” In between appearances and signings around Atlanta, Hoffman stopped by WABE for an interview with Lois Reitzes on “City Lights.”
The book opens with a shocking accident. Shelby Richmond, the story’s protagonist, blames herself for a car accident that has left her best friend injured and even comatose for a time. Despite those tragic circumstances, Hoffman said that the book’s tone is actually quite upbeat.
“Really, I think the book is about forgiveness, and the ability for someone to forgive themselves,” she said.
“Faithful” opens with an epigraph from Leonard Cohen. The lyrics are from his song “Anthem:”
“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”
The recently-deceased singer-songwriter granted Hoffman rare permission to excerpt from his body of work. Now that Cohen has passed away, the author found his epigraph to be all the more meaningful.
“I think that’s how he viewed life, and I think that’s the truth of life – that we’re all damaged, and we can’t help but be broken and damaged," she said. "And that’s the only way we can advance and understand more of the world and more of ourselves.”