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William Hoffman



The morning of January 14th my father drove me from Piedmont Virginia's White Oak Academy where I'd been dismissed to the Bay Bridge and over gray clashing waters to Oyster on the Eastern Shore. At the marina he told me, "You won't need your bags." [...]


The three MacDuc sisters lived in Howell County's single remaining antebellum mansion. When Grant stalked and bloodily dogged Lee from Petersburg to Appomattox, the war only skimmed our southside acres and left all but a few great houses unplundere [...]


Les felt eyes. Even sitting alone and not lifting a hand. Or lying nights in the third-story bedroom of what Tobaccoton people referred to as a mansion, he imagined shapes gathered in the orchard and drifted upward from windy darkness to his gabled [...]

Roll Call

People considered Uncle John a courtly dandy. He liked his seersuckers crisply fresh and in cooler weather never wore his suits without vests. During the coldest part of winter he was probably the last man in Richmond to fasten on dove gray spats. [...]

The Secret Garden

I am a flower—sometimes a tea rose, occasionally a purple iris, often a long-stem tiger lily.* * *Mostly we discovered her moods by what she played on the piano. She'd carry a vase of freshly-cut yellow asters and a glass ashtray to the Baldwin in [...]

Sweet Armageddon

Summer 1988 | Fiction

Quiet winter thunder during the blowing night caused Amos to turn his head on the pillow and lift his thin aching body to stare toward the nailed window. Skeletal branches of a leafless redbud jerked as if suffering. His breathing slowed, though Ma [...]


You're too old," she says, but I try to change her picture of me. I seek to be transformed before her sea-tinted eyes. Sixty-four is not old for a man who has been as carefully conditioned as I. Rare's the day I don't visit the company gym for a wo [...]


When Asbury bought the four acres of wooded land fronting a tidal creek, there was only the one oak, and it was already dying. It'd never been a giant, possessing nothing like the soaring grandeur of the trees on Capitol Square in Richmond, which h [...]