|Born||New York State|
|Alma mater||Goddard College|
Cara Hoffman is a New York City-based writer. She is the author of three critically acclaimed novels, So Much Pretty (2011), Be Safe, I Love You (2014), and Running (2017). Her essays have been featured in the New York Times, the New York Times Book Review, Paris Review, Salon, LItHub, MarieClaire, and NPR. As a lecturer, she has spoken at Columbia University and at Oxford University’s Global Scholar’s Symposium. Hoffman was a visiting writer at St. John’s University and at Goddard College. She has taught writing and literature at Bronx Community College and Stone Coast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine.
Life and career
Hoffman grew up in upstate New York. She dropped out of high school and and spent the next three years traveling and working in Europe and the Middle East. She did not attend college, and instead became a newspaper reporter covering crime and environmental politics.
Hoffman worked for a number of publications including Fifth Estate, the longest running anti-authoritarian magazine in North America.
In 2009 Hoffman completed an MFA in fiction at Goddard College.
Be Safe I Love You, published April 3, 2014. Simon & Schuster.
Running, published February 21, 2017. Simon & Schuster.
So Much Pretty
So Much Pretty was met with overwhelmingly positive reviews. Publisher's Weekly gave it a Starred Review, and Booklist compared it to The Lovely Bones and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The LA Times found the build-up of suspense worthwhile and said, "To say more about Hoffman's constantly surprising story is to reveal too much, but the payoff is more than worth the slow-building suspense".
The New York Times wrote:
- "For all the passion in this intense narrative, Hoffman writes with a restraint that makes poetry of pain. She also shows a mastery of her craft by developing the story over 17 years and narrating it from multiple perspectives. While each has a different take on the horrific events that no one saw coming, the people who live in this insular place remain willfully blind to their own contributions to the deeper causes that made this tragedy almost inevitable".
The New York Times Book Review later called the novel the best suspense novel of 2011.
Be Safe I Love You
Hoffman's second novel was published in April 2014, receiving strong critical praise and a nomination for the 2015 Folio Prize. George Stephanopoulos interviewed Hoffman about the book for ABC News on August 29, 2014. Library Journal gave it a starred review and called it, "a contemporary version of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried with a female protagonist."
The New York Times Book Review wrote:
- “A finely tuned piece of fiction . . . Be Safe I Love You is a painful exploration of the devastation wrought by combat even when the person returns from war without a scratch. The story—written with such lucid detail it's hard to believe the main character is an invention—suggests the damage starts long before the soldier reports for duty. . . . In crystalline language that conveys both the desolation of the Iraqi desert and the north country of New York State . . . this book is a reminder that art and love are all that can keep us from despair.”
Hoffman wrote a related op-ed piece on female veterans for the New York Times entitled The Things She Carried which was published on March 31, 2014, and another on the human cost of war for SALON in July 2014.
"Hoffman impressively evokes the combination of nihilism, idealism, rootlnessness, psychic and economic necessity, lust and love that might set a young person adrift. Unlike the runaway heroes of many queer narratives these characters are not cast out but looking to get lost...The Athens on display here is peopled with rebels and runaways of all kinds, idealists, revolutionary operatives, con men, wayward young scholars, squatters...In Bridey and Milo Hoffman has created memorable anti-heroes: tough and resourceful scarred, feral and sexy. The book and the characters refuse to conform and Running like all good outlaw literature takes sharp aim at the contemporary culture’s willingness to do so."
Running was listed as a New York Times Editor's Choice, a "Most Anticipated Book of 2017" selection by The Millions, one of Entertainment Weekly's "Best New Books" one of Esquire's "Best Books of 2017", and one of Autostraddle's "Queer and Feminist Books to read in 2017"
- "The Inner Sanctum - Cara Hoffman", 2011, webpage: ISSS.
- "The Informationist | Dark passages: Hungry for justice", LA Times, March 6, 2011, webpage: LAT9.
- "A Trophy Wife's Tale", by Marilyn Stasio, New York Times (Sunday Book Review), March 11, 2011, webpage: NYT3.
- "Fiction Reviews" Library Journal, February 1, 2014, webpage: LJ.
- "The Things She Carries", by Alissa J. Rubin, New York Times (Sunday Book Review), May 23, 2014, webpage: NYT3.
- Torres, Justin (2017-03-17). "Misfits Burn Fast and Bright in This Tale of '80s Athens". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-05-25.
- "11 New Books We Recommend This Week". The New York Times. 2017-03-23. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-05-26.
- "Most Anticipated: The Great 2017 Book Preview - The Millions". The Millions. 2017-01-04. Retrieved 2017-05-26.
- "The Best Books of 2017 (So Far)". Esquire. 2017-05-02. Retrieved 2017-05-26.
- "45 Queer and Feminist Books You Need To Read in Early 2017". Autostraddle. 2017-01-16. Retrieved 2017-05-26.