A! Magazine for the Arts

Adriana Trigiani, Ashley Judd and Jenna Elfman who worked on “Big Stone Gap” together.

Adriana Trigiani, Ashley Judd and Jenna Elfman who worked on “Big Stone Gap” together.

More about Trigiani

June 26, 2018

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 May’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 “Secrets of the Lava Lamp.” From 1988-98, she created scripts for television sitcoms, including “The Cosby Show” (1984) and its spin-off “A Different World” (1987). She was the writer and executive producer of “City Kids” for ABC/Jim Henson Productions, and she oversaw “Growing Up Funny,” a television special for Lifetime.

Trigiani began her writing career with the publication of “Big Stone Gap” (2000), followed by “Big Cherry Holler” (2001), “Milk Glass Moon” (2002) and “Home to Big Stone Gap” (2006), set in her Virginia hometown. Then came the bestselling Valentine trilogy, the tale of a woman working to save her family’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 “Lucia, Lucia” (2003), “Rococo” (2005), “The Supreme Macaroni Company” (2013) and “All the Stars in Heaven” (2015).

Trigiani has been fascinated by her Italian-American heritage in recent years. “The Shoemaker’s Wife” 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 “Queen of The Big Time” (1996), the story of her father’s hometown of Roseto, Pennsylvania. There have also been two memoirs: “Don’t Sing at the Table: Life Lessons from My Grandmothers,” (2010) and “Cooking with My Sisters” (2004), which just was republished in a revised edition.

In 2014, Trigiani directed the major motion picture” Big Stone Gap,” 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, “Love Me to Death.”

Trigiani lives in Greenwich Village with her husband, who is a lighting designer, a daughter, a cat and a dog.

Writers’ Day held at Virginia Highlands Festival