BY HOPE KATZ GIBBS
IF YOU are looking for a page-turner this summer, pick up
Adriana Trigiani’s Kiss Carlo.
It’s the latest from the New
York Times best-selling
author of The Shoemaker’s
Wife, a featured book pick in
the September ;;;; issue of
The Connection, and Big
Stone Gap, which became a motion picture in
;;;;, starring Ashley Judd, Whoopi Goldberg and
This new epic transports us to South
Philadelphia, in ;;;;. Protagonist Dominic
Palazzini owns the Palazzini Cab Company &
Western Union Telegraph Office with his three
sons, but a feud that began in ;;;; splits Dominic
from his brother Mike and his family business.
“The plot sets the stage for a Shakespearean
conflict, for it’s a story of love, loyalty and creativity that is filled with everything we all struggle
with as humans,” Trigiani tells The Connection
from her home in New York City. “As I go through
my life, it becomes increasingly clear to me that,
at our core, we all want peace—a satisfyingly sweet
alchemy where all of our needs are met. So my
stories explore how families can work together,
even when there is tremendous conflict, and move
to a higher level. I believe that if there’s peace at
home, there can be peace in the town, state,
country—and the world.”
Roots in reality
In this tome, Trigiani taps into the world
of her grandfather, Michael A. Trigiani, a
machinist-turned-mill-owner who was something of a closet filmmaker. He spent years shooting home movies of his family and important
events in his chosen hometown of Roseto,
Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley.
“This town was cited in Malcolm Gladwell’s
book Outliers: The Story of Success, in part
because very few people [there] died of a heart
attack,” Trigiani explains. “When asked why, the
townspeople explained they were simply carrying
on the traditions they learned in their mother-
land—Roseto Valfortore—in southern Italy’s
province of Foggia.”
To see what all of the hoopla was about,
Trigiani traveled to Roseto Valfortore. While
walking along the main road, she envisioned what
life might have been like for her forebears before
they emigrated. It didn’t take long for the tale of
the Palazzini clan to unfold in her mind’s eye.
The ongoing evolution of an idea is part of
Trigiani’s writing process. She says, “First I get
hooked on the story, then I do the research, and
I keep doing research until I find answers to the
question ‘What really happened here?’ ”
Trigiani admits her process borders on insan-
ity: “It makes my editors nuts, because I spend
years sleuthing, solving, writing and rewriting.
Just this morning I was reworking a chapter. It’s
almost like the publisher is going to have to pry
the final version out of my cold, dead hands,
because I’m continually perfecting it.”
Finding the perfect way to help underserved
students catch the writing bug is another passion
for Trigiani, who in ;;;; co-founded the Origin
Project ( adrianatrigiani.com/the-origin-project).
“We seek to inspire students to find their
voices through the craft of writing about their
Appalachian origins,” says Trigiani, who grew up
in the mountains of Big Stone Gap, Virginia. “We
started with ;; ninth-graders at Union High
School in my hometown, and realized we needed
to reach kids much earlier.”
As of this past May, the organization has
worked with more than ;,;;; students from
fourth to ;;th grade in four southwest Virginia
counties. Trigiani sometimes brings some of her
best-selling author buddies into the classrooms,
including Virginia native David Baldacci, popu-
lar young adult author Mary Hogan and novelist
“In everything I do, my ultimate goal is to lift
people’s spirits,” Trigiani says. “That’s what I care
about and what I’m best at. I follow whatever road
takes me toward that.” C
Hope Katz Gibbs is a freelance writer based in
Richmond, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. You
can read her 2012 interview with Adriana Trigiani
at costcoconnection.com (search “Trigiani”).
I LOOK forward to every new
book by Adriana Trigiani. She is
not only delightful in person,
but her books are a joy to
read. That includes her latest
novel, Kiss Carlo, this month’s
book buyer’s pick.
The sweeping multigenerational story effortlessly transports readers from Italy to the
streets of South Philly to New
York City, while the characters
explore the ties that bind, tradition, wanting more from life,
Shakespeare and much more.
As they examine what they
want for themselves, they also
celebrate love, hope and family.
Best of all? Trigiani tells this
story with her trademark wit
and joie de vivre.
Kiss Carlo (Item #1169657)
is available now in most
For more book picks,
see page 93.
—Pennie Clark Ianniciello,
Prepare to Kiss Carlo
Costco has 50 signed copies of Adriana Trigiani’s
Kiss Carlo with signed book plates to
give away. To enter, go to costcoconnection
NO PURCHASE, PAYMENT OR OPT-IN OF ANY KIND IS
NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPS TAKES.
Purchase will not improve odds of winning. Sweepstakes
is sponsored by Costco Wholesale, 1045 Lake Drive,
Issaquah, WA 98027. Open to legal residents of the U. S.
(except Puerto Rico) who are age 18 or older at the time of
entry. One entry per household. Entries must be received
before the August issue is available online, which will
happen around July 26, 2017. Winners will be randomly
selected and noti;ed by mail on or before September 1,
2017. The value of the prize is $27.99. Void where prohibited.
Winners are responsible for all applicable federal, state and
local taxes. Odds of winning depend on the number of
eligible entries received. Employees of Costco or
HarperCollins and their families are not eligible.
SIGNED BOOK GIVEAWAY