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A Red Heart of Memories
ISBN 0441007686 / 9780441007684 / 0-441-00768-6
Publisher Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
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She doesn't write multivolume fantasy epics--what Nina Kiriki Hoffman does write are haunting, character-driven short stories and novels. Matt (Matilda) Black, one of the two main characters in A Red Heart of Memories, appeared in two previous Hoffman novellas: Unmasking and Home for Christmas. Matt is a wanderer with the power to speak to inanimate objects and watch other people's thoughts and dreams. She meets a wandering witch, Edmund Reynolds. "Mostly I just wander from one place to the next," said Edmund, "waiting to be needed for something, then trying to figure out what it is." Spirit tells Edmund he can help Matt, even if she doesn't want him hanging around, and Matt finds that she can help Edmund in return.
Hoffman's fantasy is very much in the spirit of Jonathan Carroll's The Marriage of Sticks and Peter S. Beagle's Tamsin. She's written for children and her books are suitable for young adult readers, but don't be fooled. They're sophisticated, well-crafted stories written in a distinctive, uncynical voice and filled with magical reality.
In 1994, Hoffman won the Bram Stoker First Novel Award for The Thread That Binds the Bones, and both The Silent Strength of Stones (1995) and A Red Heart of Memories were nominated for the World Fantasy Award. As of 2001, Hoffman had been nominated for Nebula Awards four times. --Nona Vero [via]