Photo by Nancy Hoffman

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Roy Hoffman

Roy Hoffman, a novelist and journalist, is author of three novels: Come Landfall, a novel of hurricanes and war, involving three women and the men they love, impacted by World War II, Vietnam, and Iraq; Chicken Dreaming Corn, endorsed by Harper Lee, inspired by his grandparents’ sojourn from Eastern Europe to the Deep South;  Almost Family, winner of the Lillian Smith Award for fiction, about a black family and a Jewish family in civil-rights-era Alabama. He is author of two nonfiction collections: Back Home: Journeys through Mobile, with a focus on the diverse cultures of the Gulf Coast; and Alabama Afternoons: Profiles and Conversations, portraits of authors, artists, civil rights figures, and ordinary folks “famous on their block.” A native of Mobile, Roy worked as a writer in New York City for 20 years before returning South with his wife and daughter in 1996 to Mobile Bay. A former staff writer for the Mobile Press-Register, with a special interest in area culture, religion, and history, he contributes essays and reviews to the New York Times and other publications. He teaches fiction and nonfiction in the brief-residency MFA in Writing Program at Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. You can learn more about Roy and his writing at


Ten Things I Can’t Do Without

  1. An easy-going walk with my wife on a blue-skied afternoon, or any other, from the Great Wall of China, to New York City streets, to the beach at Gulf Shores, Alabama
  2. Insistent phone calls from my young journalist daughter asking perplexing questions about life and art, concluded with a hasty, “oh, gotta go, love ya, bye Dad.”
  3. My porch early mornings with a cup of coffee, a pen and paper, and a pocket notebook always with me
  4. My parents’ voices, long after they’re gone, still vivid to my ear
  5. A family reunion once a year at a winter beach
  6. Trips to a foreign land, especially if it’s Paris
  7. Sunsets over Mobile Bay, best seen from Fairhope Pier
  8. An afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, an evening Off-Broadway
  9. A piano where I can sit with a glass of wine and play my funky repertoire of blues and pop
  10. Time to let my mind wander and alight wherever it chooses