Didi Hoffman Q&A
This weekend we welcome Florida native Didi Hoffman to the Bookshelf! Didi will be signing copies of her book BEAUTIFUL BODIES: THE ADVENTURES OF MALVINA HOFFMAN about her great aunt in-law, an artist who “broke every glass ceiling in the early 20th century,” according to the description on Didi’s website. I got to email Didi and ask her a few questions about herself before we see her on Saturday, so let’s get into it!
1. Walk me through what a day looks like for you?
Usually, before I am even out of bed, I begin to look through Instagram, Twitter, and what is trending to see if anything is related to my book. If so, I begin to comment and create a post for promoting Malvina Hoffman. I try to keep my posts relevant to what is trending.
I spend the mornings until about one or two at my computer, usually without a break. This is when I research and write. By the time I begin writing, I have the story outlined in my head from previous research or interviews. Then I write! My first draft is usually broad ideas, then I take the idea and sharpen to bring into sharp focus. There are many rewrites!
Afternoons I read books for research - wish more for pleasure, but usually research.
2. If Malvina were alive today, do you have something you'd like to say to her?
I have so many questions for her!
I would like to thank her for showing me (and hopefully others) how to walk directly into fear. Not unafraid, but with conviction.
3. I'll broaden the scope a little: if you could have dinner with five people from the past, who would you pick?
Well, of course Malvina Hoffman. I would also love to be at the table with Dorothy Parker, Norah Ephron, Anna Pavlvoa and Eleanor Roosevelt Strong, women who have a voice. I would love to hear their bantering and opinions
4. Interior design and writing have little to do with each other on the surface, but the creation of a space is so inherent to both. What do you think drew you to these art forms?
I was surrounded by art, music, and design from childhood. My parents immersed me in it and all three move me deeply. My mother studied opera and the Met was on the radio every Saturday. My parents collected art, and we went to galleries. My brother was an artist, and my grandmother was a couture seamstress in NYC. She sewed all my clothes, my mother was so chic, she always was in step with [and bold in] design; our home looked like it was out of AD. There were also writers in the family. It all influenced me. As an adult, I collected art and since my children grew up in Philadelphia, we always went to galleries and museum exhibits from DC to NY and on travels. My aunt traveled the world to see the latest museum exhibits and this is something I would love to do.
5. Do you have a favorite venue that you've lectured at? What made it stand out to you?
Truthfully, I enjoy all locations - whether it be a book club or museum. My happiness is knowing someone is now inspired by Malvina Hoffman and her name and story are rediscovered. When jaws drop at the stories along with the fact she is unknown always lets me know I am on the right track.
Intrigued by author Didi Hoffman? Interested to hear more about the unreal and sadly forgotten life of Malvina? Make sure to stop by The Bookshelf on Saturday November, 17 between 2 and 4 p.m., when Didi will be signing copies of her book!