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Furors die
Hoffman, William, 1925-
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308 pages ; 24 cm
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Author Notes

Henry William Hoffman was born in Charleston, West Virginia on May 16, 1925. He attended the Kentucky Military Institute before entering the U.S. Army in September 1943. He served as a medic in the Normandy campaign and at the Battle of the Bulge during World War II. He was discharged in February 1946. He received a bachelor's degree from Hampden-Sydney College in 1949. He studied law at Washington and Lee University, but quit after the publication of his first short story in 1950. He studied at the Iowa Writers' Workshop for one year.

After working in Washington, D.C., for the Evening Star newspaper and for the U.S. Department of Defense, and then in New York City for Chase National Bank, Hoffman returned to Hampden-Sydney. He taught at the college from 1952 until 1959 and was the writer-in-residence from 1966 until his retirement in 1973.

He was the author of fourteen novels, four short-story collections, and two plays. His novels included The Trumpet Unblown, Days in the Yellow Leaf, The Dark Mountains, Yancey's War, Godfires, Wild Thorn, and Lies. His first collection of short stories, Virginia Reels, was published in 1978. His plays included The Love Touch and The Spirit in Me. He won the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature in 1992, the O. Henry Prize in 1996, and the Dashiell Hammett Award in 1999 for Tidewater Blood. He died on September 13, 2009 at the age of 84.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In the 1950s, two young boys are forced by circumstances to become wary friends. Amos ("Pinky") Cody is an outcast--his upbringing, his strict religious beliefs, and his ideals mark him as a sucker, and an inconsequential one, to the well-heeled upper class, especially Wiley DuVal, whose life is connected to Pinky's in more ways than one--and each way is a regret to Wiley. The boys grow up separate and together, and over the years, as the town changes, they do, too, until it is not just their old family homes in the valley that can be had for a song, but also their souls. Hoffman's novel is eloquent and filled with compassionate, insightful characterizations. It is not, however, a fast read: like swimming underwater, one must move at a different pace, see different things. One of the many epiphanies to be savored comes when Pinky reads a poem written by his father--a drunken, broken man. Wiley is forced to listen and, for perhaps the first time, hear: "Young / I hoped for things to come. / Old and sore / I pray Don't hurt me more." --Eloise Kinney

Publisher's Weekly Review

``Hillbilly trash'' is an epithet hurled by rich, smug Wylie DuVal at his father's awkward errand-boy, Amos Cody, aka Pinky. Son of poor, rural West Virginians, Pinky, member of a Pentecostal religious sect, condemns Wylie's youthful sexual and boozing escapades, yet secretly envies his freewheeling lifestyle. As the two go their separate ways--Wylie to college, then a brokerage job; Pinky to law school and fervent crusading for miners--this vividly detailed, wholly unsentimental novel deflates the snobbery and decorum of the wealthy and the self-righteousness of the overzealous. The lives of the boyhood antagonists intertwine repeatedly, notably when both fall for the same impetuous actress. When Pinky changes course to pursue Mammon, the story slips into heavy-handed parable, but the ending, which charts his total crack-up, exemplifies Hoffman's ( Godfires ) gifts for powerful psychological realism and prose that is by turns briskly functional and piercingly poetic. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved