Although primarily a novelist and memoirist, Adrian Trigiani has had a varied career: as an actress, playwright, writer for TV and movies, director of documentary as well as fictional films, and more recently more varied entrepreneurial endeavors, including managing Adriana Trigiani Tours, and AT Escapes, which offer travel tours inspired by her novels to Italy, Scotland, Spain and Gibraltar.
After growing up in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, Trigani attended Saint Mayâ€™s College in Indiana then it was off to New York City. She made her off-Broadway debut in New York City as a playwright in 1985 at the Manhattan Theater Club with â€œSecrets of the Lava Lamp.â€ From 1988-98, she created scripts for television sitcoms, including â€œThe Cosby Showâ€ (1984) and its spin-off â€œA Different Worldâ€ (1987). She was the writer and executive producer of â€œCity Kidsâ€ for ABC/Jim Henson Productions, and she oversaw â€œGrowing Up Funny,â€ a television special for Lifetime.
Trigiani began her writing career with the publication of â€œBig Stone Gapâ€ (2000), followed by â€œBig Cherry Hollerâ€ (2001), â€œMilk Glass Moonâ€ (2002) and â€œHome to Big Stone Gapâ€ (2006), set in her Virginia hometown. Then came the bestselling Valentine trilogy, the tale of a woman working to save her familyâ€™s shoe company in Greenwich Village. Trigiani also wrote the Viola books for young adults about a clever teenage filmmaker from Brooklyn. Her acclaimed stand-alone novels include â€œLucia, Luciaâ€ (2003), â€œRococoâ€ (2005), â€œThe Supreme Macaroni Companyâ€ (2013) and â€œAll the Stars in Heavenâ€ (2015).
Trigiani has been fascinated by her Italian-American heritage in recent years. â€œThe Shoemakerâ€™s Wifeâ€ is the fictional account of the lives of her own grandparents after emigrating to America from Italy in the early 20th century. She also wrote and directed an award-winning documentary â€œQueen of The Big Timeâ€ (1996), the story of her fatherâ€™s hometown of Roseto, Pennsylvania. There have also been two memoirs: â€œDonâ€™t Sing at the Table: Life Lessons from My Grandmothers,â€ (2010) and â€œCooking with My Sistersâ€ (2004), which just was republished in a revised edition.
In 2014, Trigiani directed the major motion pictureâ€ Big Stone Gap,â€ a romantic comedy adaptation of her namesake bestselling novel. The award-winning ensemble cast included Ashley Judd, Whoopi Goldberg, Jane Krakowski, Jenna Elfman and Patrick Wilson. Currently she is at work on a new motion picture, â€œLove Me to Death.â€
Trigiani lives in Greenwich Village with her husband, who is a lighting designer, a daughter, a cat and a dog.
Writersâ€™ Day held at Virginia Highlands Festival