The National Writers Series presents An Evening with Adriana Trigiani July 13 at City Opera House in Traverse City.

Look under “powerhouse” in the New American Heritage and you might very well find Adriana Trigiani’s coyly smiling headshot. A celebrated writer and repeat New York Times bestseller, Trigiani is the author of the instant-blockbuster, The Shoemaker’s Wife, and the renowned Big Stone Gap trilogy, not to mention her 15 other books. Trigiani is also a director, producer, and co-founder of The Origin Project; a non-profit, in-school writing program currently serving students in the Appalachians of Virginia, and a tour company inspired by her novels, entitled AT Escapes. To top it all off, Trigiani’s most recent endeavors have found her in Scotland, directing a soon-to-be-released feature film.

On July 13, Adriana Trigiani, along with guest host, Benjamin Busch, is set to grace the stage of the City Opera House in Traverse City for a sure-to-be rousing discussion of her two newest publications: the 17th in her novel lineup and classic Italian family saga, Kiss Carlo! and the revised edition of her 2005 cookbook co-authored by her sister, Mary Trigiani, Cooking with my Sisters: One-Hundred Years of Family Recipes.  

Needless to say, family is the backbone of Trigiani’s extensive body of work, and Kiss Carlo! is certainly no exception. Inspired by her grandmother’s scrapbook, Kiss Carlo! takes place against the backdrop of South Philly in the late 1940s. The novel follows the many branches of the boisterous Italian-transplant Palazzini family headed by dueling brothers, Dom and Mike Palazzini. Business is booming in post-war America, but a decades-long feud has the brothers at interminable odds. Enter Nicky Castone, an orphaned Palazzini cousin and cockeyed optimist. After a passenger dies unexpectedly in Nicky’s Cab #4, he finds himself searching for more than his comfortable but sedentary lifestyle and fiancée of seven years, Peachy DePino, can provide. Instead, Nicky seeks solace on the main stage at the rapidly-dilapidating Borelli Theater and more specifically, in its new operator, Calla Borelli. Suddenly, Nicky is faced with the choice of a lifetime: follow the sound but stodgy conventions of his already-married cousins or plot his own path and risk losing everything he cares about—his family.

If Kiss Carlo! is the appetizer, it’s the re-release of Trigiani’s debut cookbook, Cooking with my Sisters: One-Hundred Years of Family Recipes that will have the local “Adri-addicts” coming back for the main course. This scrupulously compiled collection of more than 80 beloved family recipes, some dating back more than 150 years, is sure to delight both advanced and amateur cooks alike. Through Cooking with my Sisters, Adriana offers her readers a sneak-peak into a warm world of sauce and spice and a family history laden in tradition. In the author’s own words, “When the Trigianis reach out and touch someone, we do it with food.” But, in true literary style, the Trigiani family cookbook is about so much more than just recipes. Replete with incredible anecdotes, original family photographs, and indelible snippets of wisdom passed down from mothers and grandmothers, daughters and granddaughters, this is truly a cookbook for the next generation.

Adrian Trigiani is the bestselling author of 17 works of fiction and nonfiction and has had her works published and translated in more than 35 countries. She is an author, playwright, television producer, and filmmaker. Based in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Trigiani got her start as a writer drafting scripts for The Cosby Show and Jim Henson’s City Kids before publishing her first novel, Big Stone Gap, in 2000. Since then, she’s authored one book every year, including the bestselling Valentine trilogy, Rococo, Lucia Lucia, and her debut memoir, Don’t Sing at the Table: Life Lessons from my Grandmothers. Trigiani is the author and director of the award-winning documentary, Queen of the Big Time (1996), and has written and directed two full-length films based on her critically-acclaimed novels. Trigiani’s 18th novel, Tony’s Wife, is set to hit bookstore shelves in late November.

Friday, July 13
City Opera House
7 p.m. // Doors at 6 p.m.
Live music, cash bar, and Morsels sweet treats
Stage conversation and Q&A with author
Post-event book signing
Tickets: $15.50 reserved; $25.50 premium reserved

Northern Michigan Events