October 19 - November 5, 2017

Concord, Massachusetts

Two weeks of talks, readings, and discussions celebrating the written and the spoken word.
  • Colman Andrews
    Colman Andrews
  • Alice Hoffman
    Alice Hoffman
  • Gordon Wood
    Gordon Wood
  • Gish Jen
    Gish Jen

Richard Hoffman

Events: Writing the Hard Stories: How Memoirists Cope

Book: Love and Fury; Half the House

Visit Author's Website

Richard Hoffman is author of the memoirs Half the House and Love & Fury; the poetry collections, Without Paradise; Gold Star Road, winner of the 2006 Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize and the 2008 Sheila Motton Award from the New England Poetry Club; Emblem; and most recently Noon until Night. A fiction writer as well, his Interference & Other Stories was published in 2009. A former Chair of PEN New England, he is Senior Writer in Residence at Emerson College.

With familial relationships at it center, Love & Fury draws connections between past and present, from the author’s grandfather, a “breaker boy” sent down into the anthracite mines of Pennsylvania at the age of ten, to his young grandson, whose father is among the estimated one million young Black men incarcerated today.  In a critique of culture and of self, Hoffman grapples with the way we have absorbed and incorporated the compelling imagery of post WWII America and its values, especially regarding class, war, women, race, masculinity, violence, divinity, and wealth. At the book’s core are the author’s questions about boyhood, fatherhood, and grandfatherhood, and about the changing meaning of what it means to be a good man in America, now and into the future.

Against the back-drop of post-war, blue-collar America, Half the House tells a story both intensely personal and universal. Depicting his family’s struggles to care for two of his brothers who are terminally ill, Hoffman also recounts the horrific abuse he suffered in secret at the age of ten by his baseball coach. In a memoir Time magazine called “spare and poignant,” the author explores the ways in which grief and rage become a tangled silence that estranges those who need each other’s love the most, and demonstrates the healing power of truth-telling in both the personal and public spheres.