Bliss

Paperback $12.95

Villard | Sep 10, 2002 | 272 Pages | 5-3/16 x 8 | ISBN 9780375761034

  • Paperback$12.95

    Villard | Sep 10, 2002 | 272 Pages | 5-3/16 x 8 | ISBN 9780375761034

  • Ebook$9.99

    One World/Ballantine | Sep 30, 2008 | ISBN 9780345509949

Author Q&A

A Conversation with the Gabrielle Pina, Author of Bliss

How did you get the idea for Bliss?

I was and am still intrigued with the idea of powerful women, women who are fearless, women who can almost bend steel with their minds. And I wondered how our grandmothers and great grandmothers survived so gracefully without battered women’s shelters, high powered divorce attorneys and weight loss programs. Also how one moment, one event can alter the course of your life.

What would have happened if you took a left instead of a right? What if everything you believed in was a lie? What if the person you thought you were didn’t exist? These questions haunted me and Bliss was born out my quest to answer them.

You open the book with the line “Sometimes a lie is the best thing.” What did you mean by that?

Well, what would have happened if Hattie Mae told Harlan she was pregnant? Would Bone have even survived without Hattie Mae? Some of the characters in Bliss felt their deceptions were necessary for survival. One lie affected the lives of so many people.

Why did you pick the violin?

I thought the violin was a romantic instrument, an instrument quite difficult to master. Also I think as a society we’re accustomed to seeing women of color singing and playing the piano, not necessarily mastering an instrument at that level.

How much of you is in your characters?

I can’t say exactly. I think a little bit of me is sprinkled around here and there. I love food, hence the consistent macaroni and cheese references throughout the novel.

What writers have influenced you?

Toni Morrison, Anita Diamant, Octavia Butler, and Alice Walker. I could go on and on as there are so many.

What do you want the reader to take away from your novel?

Feelings of hope, determination and perseverance. I want the reader to feel the pain, the struggle and the joy of the journey. I also want the reader to laugh. Laughter is good.

Are you working on anything else?
Yes, my second novel tentatively titled “Anything But a Simple Woman.” Imagine that.

 

A Conversation with the Gabrielle Pina, Author of Bliss

How did you get the idea for Bliss?

I was and am still intrigued with the idea of powerful women, women who are fearless, women who can almost bend steel with their minds. And I wondered how our grandmothers and great grandmothers survived so gracefully without battered women’s shelters, high powered divorce attorneys and weight loss programs. Also how one moment, one event can alter the course of your life.

What would have happened if you took a left instead of a right? What if everything you believed in was a lie? What if the person you thought you were didn’t exist? These questions haunted me and Bliss was born out my quest to answer them.

You open the book with the line “Sometimes a lie is the best thing.” What did you mean by that?

Well, what would have happened if Hattie Mae told Harlan she was pregnant? Would Bone have even survived without Hattie Mae? Some of the characters in Bliss felt their deceptions were necessary for survival. One lie affected the lives of so many people.

Why did you pick the violin?

I thought the violin was a romantic instrument, an instrument quite difficult to master. Also I think as a society we’re accustomed to seeing women of color singing and playing the piano, not necessarily mastering an instrument at that level.

How much of you is in your characters?

I can’t say exactly. I think a little bit of me is sprinkled around here and there. I love food, hence the consistent macaroni and cheese references throughout the novel.

What writers have influenced you?

Toni Morrison, Anita Diamant, Octavia Butler, and Alice Walker. I could go on and on as there are so many.

What do you want the reader to take away from your novel?

Feelings of hope, determination and perseverance. I want the reader to feel the pain, the struggle and the joy of the journey. I also want the reader to laugh. Laughter is good.

Are you working on anything else?
Yes, my second novel tentatively titled “Anything But a Simple Woman.” Imagine that.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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