Library Blog

Author Spotlight: Adriana Trigiani

author photo of adriana trigianni

Adriana Trigiani is an author, playwright, script writer, producer, director, and filmmaker. In addition to her many published books, she was a writer and producer of The Cosby Show and A Different World television shows. She is an Italian-American, and her life and family experiences are woven throughout her stories. Adriana has visited and spoken in Youngstown a number of times, and she has even appeared as the Youngstown Public Library’s Literary Society speaker on a couple of occasions. In fact, she will be a special guest in a virtual author event, this Thursday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m.

To find out more information about this author event, including registration information, visit the Literary Society’s webpage on the Library’s website. 


She is funny and captivating both in person and in her writing. Check out some of her titles below:

Big Stone Gap Series:

Big Stone Gap, Big Cherry Holler, Milk Glass Moon, Home to Big Stone Gap

This Series follows Ave Maria, a 35-year-old, Italian-American pharmacist, as she figures out her life and her dreams. The books cover her courtships, motherhood and journey from a small mountain town in Virginia to Italy and back again. The series was turned into a movie written, directed, and produced by Adriana.


Valentine Trilogy:

Very ValentineBrava ValentineThe Supreme Macaroni Company

Valentine Roncalli takes over her family’s business, the Angelini Shoe Company in New York City. Can she find love and success? This series even mentions the tradition of cookie tables at weddings and building a shoe factory in Youngstown. Very Valentine was made into a Lifetime tv movie in 2019.


Viola Young Adult Series:

Viola In Reel LifeViola in the Spotlight

Brooklyn born Viola is sent to boarding school in Indiana. She tries to escape her new life by using her camera, but she learns to appreciate her new roommates and situation.


Tony’s Wife

Two Italian-Americans fall in love on the Jersey shore in the 1940s. Both dream of becoming famous singers. They must navigate their dreams of fame, family, and the changing times.


The Shoemaker’s Wife

The love and life story of Ciro Lazzari and Enza Ravanelli and their children, which starts in Italy then comes to America.


Kiss Carlo

Dominic and Mike Palazzini are brothers in 1950’s Philadelphia. They used to own a cab company together, but a fight caused a split, which created two separate cab companies. The two Italian American families experience triumphs and tragedies. One son, Nicky, must choose between the life expected of him and his dreams to be an actor.


All the Stars in the Heavens

The book features the fictionalized story of the romance between Clark Gable and Loretta Young. Many Hollywood stars from the 1930s make appearances. Ms. Young’s personal secretary, Alda Ducci, comes to Hollywood from a convent in Italy and has to find her way in America.


Lucia, Lucia

In the 1950’s, Luica Sartori has to choose between her clothing designing career, two different men, and duty she feels to her family.


The Queen of the Big Time

The Castellucas and other families transplanted their Italian town straight to Roseto, Pennsylvania. Each year the town celebrates the Our Lady of Mount Carmel festival, and the young ladies compete to be the pageant queen. Nella Castelluca fights to leave her family farm, move to the city, and find love.



The tale of Bartolomeo di Crespi, the interior designer of an Italian-American town in New Jersey. Art, design, and scandals abound.


Cooking with My Sisters, One Hundred Years of Family Recipes, from Italy to Big Stone Gap

A cookbook sharing Adriana’s family recipes and stories.


Don’t Sing at the Table: Life Lessons From My Grandmothers

A memoir about Adriana, her two grandmothers, and their advice about life.


You can find digital copies of Adriana’s books in both audio and eBook format in OverDrive and Hoopla.




Starr Jones has worked as a librarian in Mahoning County for 19 years. She likes to read nonfiction books, especially biographies and books about science, social issues, cooking, and humor. She also likes fiction written by female authors. While she prefers hardcover books, she will read an eBook on occasion and likes to listen to audiobooks while multitasking. Her zen is shooting pool and watching the Great British Baking Show.