You’re invited to the party. Let’s just start with the invitation – the cover of Adriana Trigiani’s new novel, TONY’S WIFE (HarperBooks). GORGEOUS! Adriana’s much anticipated novel once again delivers and we the readers are the lucky recipients. Be prepared to be immersed into the Big Band era.
Chi Chi Donatelli and Saverio Armandonada meet one summer on the Jersey shore before World War II. Chi Chi is a talented and ambitious singer-songwriter working in a local blouse factory looking for her big break, while Saverio, a singer already on the rise, is fronting a touring band and has the good looks and smooth vocals that make success seem assured. It isn’t long before Saverio becomes Tony Arma and he and Chi Chi form a duo. Together they navigate the glamorous worlds of nightclubs, radio, and television. Soon they’re married and all goes well until it becomes clear that they must make a choice: Which of them will put ambition aside to build a family and which will pursue a career? What compromises will they make to achieve their dreams? And on the road to fame and fortune, how will they cope with the impact these compromises have on their marriage, family, and themselves?
TONY’S WIFE is a richly layered novel that explores how a traditional Italian-American family grapples with the seismic shifts they face in a rapidly changing world. Expect lots of complex characters and atmosphere.
At 500 pages, expect to finish TONY’S WIFE in one sitting and wonder where the time went? Fun, delightful, enjoyable … I could go on with the positive adjectives, but you get the idea. Perhaps a nice merlot? Enjoy!
ADRIANA’S BIO IS ALMOST AS LONG AS ONE OF HER NOVELS AND AS INTERESTING.
Adriana Trigiani is beloved by millions of readers around the world for her bestselling novels. Her recent novel, Kiss Carlo, was an instant bestseller of The New York Times, Barnes & Noble, Publishers Weekly,USA Today, and Indie Booksellers nationwide. She wrote the blockbuster The Shoemaker’s Wife, the Big Stone Gap series, the Valentine trilogy and Lucia, Lucia. Trigiani’s themes of love and work, emphasis upon craftsmanship and family life have brought her legions of fans who call themselves Adri-addicts (a term coined by book maven Robin Kall). Their devotion has made Adriana one of “the reigning queens of women’s fiction” (USA Today).
The New York Times calls her “a comedy writer with a heart of gold”, her books “tiramisu for the soul.” Her books have been translated in 36 countries around the world. Adriana has toured many of the countries, including South Africa, with annual visits to the United Kingdom.
Adriana wrote and directed the film adaptation of her debut novel Big Stone Gap, produced by Donna Gigliotti, shot entirely on location in her hometown, with an all star cast including: Ashley Judd, Patrick Wilson, Whoopi Goldberg, John Benjamin Hickey, Anthony LaPaglia, Jenna Elfman, Jane Krakowski, Judith Ivey, Mary Pat Gleason, Dagmara Dominczyk, Mary Testa, Paul Wilson, Chris Sarandon, Jasmine Guy, and introducing Erika Coleman and Bridget Gabbe, with music by John Leventhal, and songs performed by his lovely wife, Rosanne Cash. Glorious local talent performed on the soundtrack and acted in the movie, sharing their gifts beyond the peaks of the Appalachian mountains. The soundtrack is now available on iTunes and in stores.
Big Stone Gap opened the Virginia Film Festival on November 6th, 2014. Tickets for the 1000-seat house sold out in minutes, breaking a record for the festival. The film screened at the inaugural Bentonville Film Festival in May 2015 to three sold-out crowds; at the closing ceremony, Big Stone Gap took home the first award of the night for Best Ensemble. Big Stone Gap hit theaters nationwide on October 9th, 2015 and spent 11 weeks in theaters. The film was the #2 Romantic Comedy of 2015, and listed as a top-grossing women-directed film of that year. It is now available to own. Adriana has made regular appearances on NBC’s Today Show for 15 years. Most recently, she joined Hoda and guest host (and Big Stone Gap star!) Jenna Elfman to discuss All the Stars in the Heavens and Big Stone Gap (catch it here). She was profiled on CBS Sunday Morning by Rita Braver, featured in a story by fellow novelist Lee Woodruff on CBS ThisMorning, and selected by Joy Behar for her summer read on The View. Recently, Adriana appeared on The View to chat with co-host and Big Stone Gap star Whoopi Goldberg, along with cast members Jenna Elfman and Paul Wilson.
Adriana appeared in Mary McDonough Murphy’s PBS documentary, Hey Boo, as well as a documentary about the work of Jane Austen. She has appeared on SiriusXM’s The Hoda Show with Hoda Kotb, WNYC’s The Leonard Lopate Show, NPR’s Diane Rehm Show and May Lily Lee’s Virginia Conversations. In 2015, she appeared in The Italian Americans for PBS, which features scenes from her award-winning documentary Queens of the Big Time. Adriana has been profiled by publications around the world, including The New York Times, Virginia Living, Publisher’s Weekly, and Writer’s Digest.
Her novels have been honored at home and around the world: In the UK, Richard and Judy selected Lucia, Luciaas one of their first picks in 2005. Adriana was thrilled when Richard and Judy chose The Shoemaker’s Wife for their 2012 list. In Ireland, Lucia, Lucia was long listed for the IMPAC award in 2005. She has been a Library of Virginia Fiction nominee three times, winning for Home to Big Stone Gap in 2007, and a RUSA Award winner from the American Library Association for Very Valentine (click here to see the video of that hilarious evening). On April 7, 2016, Adriana was among one of seven honorees inducted into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame by the Robertson School of Media & Culture at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Michael Patrick King tucked copies of her novels in scenes throughout the Sex and the City television series and movies. There’s a drinking game in South Bend, Indiana for the eagle-eyed viewers who spot the novels.
Adriana’s non-fiction includes the instant New York Times bestseller Don’t Sing at the Table about the lives of her grandmothers, which was nominated for an Audi Award in the read by the author/memoir category. For fun in the kitchen, she co-authored Cooking with My Sisters with Mary Trigiani, with contributions from their sisters and mom. The book was featured at a New York Times culinary evening featuring Tyler Florence, Laurent Tourondel, and Rocco DiSpirito. Adriana relished her time as an ‘agony aunt’ when she wrote Ask Adri, a weekly advice column in The Irish Independent from 2007 – 2008.
Adriana enjoyed a fabulous run as a writer/producer in series television. She was mentored by the great Bill Persky and worked for some spectacular showrunners, including Janet Leahy, Matt Williams, Alan Zweibel and Susan Fales-Hill. She wrote 15 pilots for wonderful actors including Jasmine Guy, Raven Symone and Mario Cantone. She was a writer/producer for The Cosby Show and A Different World and executive producer and showrunner of CityKids, for ABC/Jim Henson Productions. She also wrote and executive-produced Growing UpFunny, a television special for Lifetime which garnered an Emmy nomination for Lily Tomlin. Adriana wrote the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and a variety of television specials and series featuring great performers, including some of her all-time favorites: Madeline Kahn, Dolly Parton, Whoopi Goldberg, Laraine Newman, Marlo Thomas and Lily Tomlin, among others.
The Origin Project was established in 2013 with Nancy Bolmeier Fisher, who serves as Executive Director of the program. TOP is an in-school writing program that brings professional authors into the classroom to work with students on their creative writing skills – specifically, stories inspired by their own family history. The organization works in concert with a pool of brilliant, local teachers to bring the students and living authors of note together to guide and inspire the students’ creative thinking and process. Since the program’s launch in 2013, the program has expanded to include many more schools, over 1000 students, and guest authors of note, including David Baldacci, Mary Hogan, and Meg Wolitzer.
The World’s Biggest Book Club is a party thrown by the author as a thank you to her readers. Hundreds of readers rally together for the celebration, which is held in New York City and New Jersey. Adriana Skypes and speaks with book clubs, library groups and classrooms 2 to 3 times a week from home. Her novels have been selected for the book clubs at USA Today, People magazine and Target. She was a Pennie’s Pick at Costco, an honoree of Shepherd University’s Appalachian Author Series, as well as a selection for the all-community reads in Ohio, Illinois, Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee.
As a mistress of ceremonies, Adriana has hosted The Library of Virginia Awards for ten years, the prestigious Poets and Writers Gala in New York City , the Audio Book Awards during BEA, and the Erma Bombeck Arizona Kidney Foundation Luncheon in Phoenix.
She has received citations from The Sons of Italy, an honorary degree from Saint Mary’s College, two honorary degrees from the University of New Haven, and has given the commencement speech at University of Virginia at Wise and the University of New Haven. A seasoned lecturer, Adriana has also been a guest speaker at New York University and The New School for Social Research in New York City. She is a recipient of the Appalachian Heritage Writer’s Award, presented by The Shepherd University Foundation, The West Virginia Humanities Council, and The West Virginia Center for the Book.
Adriana grew up in Big Stone Gap, Virginia in a big Italian family (with roots in northern Italy, the Veneto and Bari). Her mother was a librarian, her father a garment manufacturer. Adriana’s first professional writing job was as a news reporter for WNVA radio when she was 15 years old. While she loved the job, it made her realize that she preferred writing for the theater, where her imagination and the facts could run wild.
Adriana lives in Greenwich Village with her husband, the Emmy award-winning lighting designer for Late Show With David Letterman; their beloved daughter; their rescue cat, Smokey Renee; and rescue dog, Lola Ruby Falls. In 2014, Adriana invited The New York Times for a peek into her work and home life (check it out here).
While a student in the Notre Dame/Saint Mary’s Theater Department, Adriana was the first student to write and direct an original play on the mainstage with Notes From the Nile, a full-length play about the life and loves of Cleopatra. In her review in The South Bend Tribune, Elizabeth Christman wrote,“I greet you at the beginning of a great career…this is the debut of stunning new talent…Trigiani’s talent is like an oil well that hasn’t been capped.” Trigiani received the William Mitchell Playwriting Award from the University of Notre Dame for her debut.
While at Saint Mary’s, she also founded, directed, wrote and appeared with The Outcasts, an all-female comedy troupe that began improvisational performances on the shuttle buses between the schools and grew into a musical variety show with sell-out performances in the university theater.
Adriana moved to New York City in the 1980s and into The Milbank House, a boarding house in Greenwich Village. She recast The Outcasts with comediennes in an open audition process in the garment district. They made their New York City debut at Upstairs at the Vesuvio Restaurant (proprietors Rosemarie and Tony Casciole and their son, Ernie, opened the club just for the group). From there, The Outcasts performed on the city cabaret circuit for 7 years, honored as AGVA’s Young Stars of Tomorrow and nominated for the MAC awards . While Adriana worked with the troupe and wrote plays, her day jobs included: office temp on Wall Street, childcare/nanny (her young charge Emily Bliss became a Fulbright scholar, accident? Don’t think so), ticket seller at Cinema Village and phone installer for the Super Bowl.
While living in the boarding house as a young playwright, Trigiani became an apprentice to Ruth Goetz (who wrote The Heiress with husband Augustus Goetz). Ruth was introduced to Adriana’s plays by the stage director George Keathley. Trigiani met with Ruth every Saturday for several years for “gardening lessons,” Ruth’s self-styled, one on one playwriting tutorial.
Adriana made her off-Broadway debut in New York City as a playwright in 1985 at the Manhattan Theater Club with Secrets of the Lava Lamp directed by Stuart Ross. She wrote for the 52nd Street Project, was produced in regional theaters including a commission for a full length play from The Missouri Repertory Theater under George Keathley, and was produced at Jack Bettenbender’s Rutgers Summerfest for Ethel Zupp’s Amazing Cheesecake, directed by Ed Stern.
Adriana sold her first screenplay, Three to Get Married, in 1986, with Kate Benton producing. When Adriana was given her grandfather’s 16mm films he had shot between 1936 and 1960, she brought them to the DuArt Labs in New York to be restored. From there, using his films as a narrative ribbon, she wrote and directed the documentary film Queens of the Big Time, the story of her father’s hometown, Roseto, Pennsylvania. The film won the 1996 Audience Award at the Hamptons International Film Festival, tied for the same award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival and was featured at the international festivals in London and Hong Kong. Scenes from the documentary are featured in PBS’ The Italian Americans.
Adriana’s grandfather’s films inspired her to write and direct movies; with the release of Big Stone Gap, his dreams and hers come full circle.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours and Harper Collins, we’re lucky to have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us your favorite Italian meal. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.
GIVEAWAY: USA only please.
#tonysWife @AdrianaTrigiani #HarperBooks @TLCBookTours