Authors & Events
Look Inside | Reading Guide
Sep 10, 2002
| ISBN 9780375761034
Sep 30, 2008
| ISBN 9780345509949
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Sep 10, 2002 | ISBN 9780375761034
Sep 30, 2008 | ISBN 9780345509949
“Sometimes a lie is the best thing.”Francesca Valentine is a successful, beautiful, world-renowned violinist. But when her perfect life is shattered, she must confess to a history of carefully calculated deception. Claudine Jenkins was a musical prodigy who clung to her one true love—a violin given to her by her aunt Hattie Mae. Claudine grew up protecting herself from the tauntings of her father and her twin brother by eating herself into obesity. Her mother was an alcoholic who was indifferent to her, at best. But all that would soon change. Feared by most, yet adored for her exotic beauty, Hattie Mae Jones remained a mystery even to those who thought they knew her best. But when her dark past threatened to destroy her perfectly laid plans for the future, she became determined to have her way. Would she have gone as far as committing murder?What happens when three generations of lies come to the surface? Power, deceit, greed, and lust collide—leaving you with sheer Bliss.
Gabrielle Pina received her M.A. from the University of Southern California. She is a member of the adjunct faculty at Pasadena Community College and lives in Southern California with her two children, Julian and Maia. Bliss is her first novel.
A Conversation with the Gabrielle Pina, Author of BlissHow 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.
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