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Alice Hoffman’s first novel, written while she was still a graduate student at Stanford University, introduced her as a major American novelist.

Here, she introduced us to the mythic society of the street life of the “Orphans” and of the girls who belong to them – “The property of the Orphans.” This is a world coated by “ice, leather, and white dust,” a place of violence, drugs, and honor. A lonely, infatuated outsider falls in love with the gang’s brooding, doomed leader, McKay. In time she discovers what can and cannot be possessed and what can happen when you hand your heart over to someone who knows nothing about love. A search for identity, a dark fairytale, “a first novel of great promise” and the beginning of a career that more than fulfilled that promise.


“A remarkably envisioned novel, almost mythic in its cadences, hypnotic…. the imagining is true, the writing lovely.
The New York Times

“An unmistakably gifted work…. Alice Hoffman flares with talent.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Highly original.”
Publishers Weekly