SMC alumna publishes novel
By NELLIE WILLIAMS
Adriana Trijiani, an '81 Saint Mary's graduate, just released her novel "Big Stone Gap" with Random House Publishers two weeks ago and its already risen to fame.
She will be visiting Notre Dame and Saint Mary's campuses tomorrow afternoon for a book signing and discussion.
Her stop in South Bend is part of Trijiani's three week, 22-city tour from coast to coast.
The novel, which takes place in the author's hometown in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, has potential for more than 3 million dollars in initial sales.
The publishing house ordered a 150,000- book printing for the first edition.
The novel is based upon the character Ave Maria Mulligan, a 35-year-old "self-proclaimed spinster," who is the town pharmacist, co-captain of the Rescue Squad, director of The Trail of the Lonesome Pine, the town's outdoor drama.
"She finds herself keeping busy with the town's secrets and discovers some of family secrets of her own," she said.
The novel takes place in the year 1978 and Ave Maria finds herself in the midst of two marriage proposals and planning a life-changing journey to the Old Country. In the meantime, Ava Maria is helping a best friend plan a band half-time show because Elizabeth Taylor, a Hollywood movie star, is coming into town.
Other characters in the novel include, "the sexpot Bookmobile librarian, Iva Lou Wade; Fleeta Mullins, the chain-smoking pharmacy cashier; Elmo Gaspar, the snake-handling preacher; Jack MacChesney, a coal-mining bachelor looking for true love; and Pearl Grimes, a shy mountain girl on the verge of a miraculous transformation."
"Big Stone Gap" will soon be made a major motion picture directed and produced by Trijiani. Trijiani has worked as a television writer/producer, playwright, comedian and documentary filmmaker.
She has also helped produce "The Cosby Show", "A Different World", and "Good Sports." Trijiani was executive producer and head writer for the film show "City Kids" and she wrote and produced "Growing up Funny", which was an Emmy nomination for Lily Tomlin and Lifetime Television.
She also wrote, produced and directed the film "Queens of the Bigtime" (1996), which won the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 1996 Hamptons International Film Festival.
In her review of the book, Whoopi Goldberg said it is "...one of my all-time favorite novels, unforgettable."
Trijiani will be at Notre Dame's bookstore on Saturday at 2 p.m. and at Welsh parlor in the Haggar Student Center, Saint Mary's College from 4 to 6 p.m.
All News Stories for Friday, April 14, 2000