Cara Hoffman, MFA

Affiliated Faculty On Leave

Cara Hoffman is the author of Running, a New York Times Editor’s Choice, an Esquire Magazine Best Book  of the Year, and an Autostraddle Best Queer and Feminist Book of the Year. She first received national attention in 2011 with the publication of the feminist classic So Much Pretty which sparked a national dialogue on violence and retribution and was named a Best Novel of the year by the New York Times Book Review.

Her second novel, Be Safe I Love You, was nominated for a Folio Prize, named one of the Five Best Modern War Novels by the Telegraph UK, and won a Sundance Institute Global Film Making Award. 

A MacDowell Fellow and an Edward Albee Fellow, she has written for the New York Times, The Paris Review, Bookforum, Bennington Review, The Daily BeastRolling Stone, Teen Vogue and NPR. She has been a visiting lecturer at Oxford University, and is a founding editor of The Anarchist Review of Books.Her collection of short stories, RUIN was published in April 2022. She lives in New York City and Athens, Greece.


  • MFA in Creative Writing, Goddard College

Areas of Expertise

  • Literary Fiction
  • Journalism
  • Anarchist Theory

Personal Statement

My pedagogical approach centers on the principles of solidarity and mutual aid. I encourage students to see themselves as part of a broader literary community, to understand where their work fits within various artistic traditions, and to actively engage with contemporary intellectual and creative work in all disciplines. I encourage close reading, a solid understanding of foundational texts, and a focus on ethical engagement and critical inquiry. I believe writers must have diverse experiences as well as diverse reading lists.

Writing is an act of empathetic embodiment; bringing character, place, time and setting to life through lucid detail. This requires a deep focus on the sensory and a commitment to observation and research, to crossing boundaries and to radical acceptance of others’ experiences and perspectives. I want to see the alien, the unexpected, and the excluded in print. 

I am deeply influenced by the writing, art and political philosophy of David Wojnarowicsz; believing that every revelation of an imagined world, every public disclosure of a private reality, can be used as dismantling tools against hegemony and erasure.  

All Power to the Imagination.



  • 2022, RUIN (PM Press) A Millions Most Anticipated Book of the Year
  • 2017, Running (Simon & Schuster) New York Times Editors’ Choice, Esquire Magazine’s Best Book of 2017, Millions Most Anticipated Novel of 2017, Autostraddle’s Best Queer and Feminist Book of 2017, BBC’s 10 Best Books, The Guardian’s Best Book about Foreigners Abroad 2017 
  • 2014, Be Safe I Love You (Simon & Schuster) New York Times Editors’ Choice, Folio Prize Nomination, Sundance Institute Global Film Making Award, A London Telegraph’s Best Modern War Novel
  • 2011, So Much Pretty (Simon & Schuster)  New York Times Book Review Best Suspense Novel of the Year, New York Times  Editors’ Choice, New Yorker Magazine Books Pick, Dagger Award Finalist, Stylist  Magazine’s Cult book of 2012,  San Francisco Book Festival Award for Fiction  

Short Stories

  • 2022, The Apiarist (Schlag)
  • 2022, History Lesson (Verbal)
  • 2021, DeChellis (Bennington Review)
  • 2021, Childhood (The Opiate)
  • 2020, Retouch/Switch, KINK Anthology ed. Garth Greenwell (Simon & Schuster)
  • 2017, I’ve Been Tired, Mixed Up Anthology ed. Nick Mamatas (Skyhorse)
  • 2011, The Sea Monkey Theater, Subversions Anthology (Les Pages Noir)     


Children’s Novels

Selected Articles and Essays

  • Talismans and Portals: Alexandros Georgiou’s Dispatches, Athens Insider December 2021
  • These Queer 80s Punks Took the Mic from Straight White Men, Teen Vogue, June, 2021
  • Writing a Children’s Novel with Peter Kropotkin’s Philosophies in Mind, Lit Hub, December 23, 2020
  • Dream of No Nation, an Homage to Exarchia, The Daily Beast, August 23, 2020
  • Rules are for Breaking, BOMB Magazine June, 2020
  • The Life and Times of Alvin Baltrop, Bookforum, December 2019
  • History Keeps Me Awake at Night, Bookforum, Summer 2018
  • How to Keep Your Hand, Catapult Magazine, May 17, 2018
  • Heather “The Heat” Hardy’s Boxing Revolution, Rolling Stone April 7, 2017
  • Vanishing Point, The Paris Review, March 6, 2017
  • The Art of Getting Lost, LitHub, February 21, 2017
  • Alone, Together, Marie Claire, February 17, 2015        
  • The Things She Carried, New York Times May 31, 2014
  • On Heroes, Salon, July 20, 2014
  • Enlisted Women; Helen Thorpe’s Soldier Girls, New York Times Book Review, August 8, 2014
  • Giving Women a Fair Fight, Women’s Media Center, July 18, 2014
  • The Boys from County Hell, Clockhouse, Vol. One 2013
  • Bringing the War Home, Women’s Media Center, February 22, 2012
  • My Greatest Fear, Stylist Magazine, February, 2012
  • You Must Read This, National Public Radio, April 20, 2011

Affiliation MFA Creative Writing