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Lucia, Lucia

Best Seller
Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani
Paperback $17.00
Jun 29, 2004 | ISBN 9780812967791

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  • Jun 29, 2004 | ISBN 9780812967791

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  • Jul 08, 2003 | ISBN 9781588362872

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“This heartwarming tale is full of lessons about taking risks in life and love.”

“FAST-MOVING, FUNNY, VISUAL, AND MOVING . . . A vibrant, loving, wistful portrait of a lost time and place. Every page is engrossing and begs us to read the next.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch

USA Today

Entertainment Weekly

“[Trigiani] writes with commanding authenticity about Italian-American life, the landscape of Italy, and New York City. . . . Lucia, her Italian family, her ambitious girlfriends, her colorful boss, and her mysterious lover are colorful, poignant characters, representative of another time, yet as real as today. . . . Trigiani has proved she is a multi-faceted writer whose name and stories will be celebrated for years to come.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Adriana Trigiani’s enchanting new novel will find a warm welcome from every reader who has encountered a fork in the road to love and taken the more perilous path. . . . A testament to the power of familial love and friendship . . . Perhaps [this] is Trigiani’s greatest gift to her reader: the recognition that devotion, loyalty, and forgiveness will ultimately win the day.”

“Trigiani creates a compelling story, artfully uniting a snapshot of the past with the present. This bittersweet novel should have broad appeal.”
Library Journal

“Filled to bursting with gorgeous clothes, sumptuous meals, beautiful weather, and the rhapsody of New York City.”
Kirkus Reviews

“You’ll find yourself lost in an Audrey Hepburn movie that was never made.”

“Delightful . . . Trigiani has artfully woven a wonderful, engaging story that blends the past with the present. Her characters are richly appealing, from her four overprotective brothers to her quick-witted best friend.”
Review Appeal (Franklin, TN)

“[A] heartfelt depiction of homespun characters whose emotions are always very close to the surface . . . Trigiani offers an inviting picture of Italian life as well as a finely detailed appreciation of Old World craftsmanship.”

“[A] bustling, sparkling 1950s New York City . . . Trigiani does a wonderful job evoking Lucia’s beloved, homey Greenwich Village and the couture-clad Upper East Side. Vivid, too, are the descriptions of Italian cooking and feasting, and the Sartoris’ storybook hometown in the old country.”
Boston Herald

“This is your perfect summer read. Trust us. Put a good reading light on in your backyard . . . and read your little heart out, deep into the night.”
—Millbrook Voice Ledger (NY)

“Poignant and feeling . . . Readers will laugh with and weep for Lucia and her lost dreams.”
Publishers Weekly

Author Q&A


Adriana Trigiani sat down with Delmarr for a chat on a cold winter day at Valdino’s restaurant on Hudson Street in Greenwich Village. Manhattan was blanketed in snow by the end of their lunch; Delmarr had the gnocchi with osso buco sauce and Adriana had the spaghetti pomodoro. Both had a nice glass of smoky merlot.

Delmarr: I love that coat. Whose is it?

Adriana Trigiani: John Galliano. I bought it for half price in the after-Christmas sales.

D: Nice embroidery work on the hem.

AT: Thanks. Maybe we should describe the coat to our readers.

D: Good idea. The coat is black cashmere, with a portrait collar, wide sleeves, buttons down the front, and an A-line swing, a personal favorite of mine. It’s very forgiving. . . .

AT: I’m working off Christmas dinner at the sales.

D: . . . and it has contrasting white embroidery on the hem, swirls that are sewn into giant bows. Very fetching.

AT: I love John Galliano. Who are your favorite designers today?

Well, anyone with an eye for silhouette always goes first to Vivienne Westwood. And there’s a young fellow right here in Man-hattan who is very fresh: Zac Posen. And if you’re looking for new
takes on traditional fabrics, always look to the Italian designers. Miuccia Prada reinvents seersucker, for crying out loud.

AT: You still love fashion.
D: I love it more now, even more than I did back in my era. The industrialization of the world was great for farmers and architects, but it killed the custom clothing business. I never thought I’d see the day when coats were made in a factory. Or when a woman would go to a warehouse to buy a bridal gown. We just didn’t think in those terms back then. Going out was special, and a woman had to be turned out in a certain way. Gloves, hat, stockings . . .

AT: So you don’t like Juicy Couture?

D: I don’t believe a woman should go around with words on her rear end. That’s just me. And sweat suits are for sweating—not a night out on the town. Juicy is great—at the gym.

AT: We live in very casual times.

D: Too casual.

AT: When do you think it all changed?

D: It started in the early ’50s. You know, I knew girls who were working during the war, and they were smart and accomplished and it seemed that America had changed. We valued the role of women in the workplace. Then, when the guys came home, it was as if there was a mandate for women to return to the kitchen. And you did, in droves.

AT: Scary.

D: Well, it changed the nature of my work. I relied on women, of course, my creations were for women, so I might be a special case. When I say I relied on women, I relied on their artistic sensibilities—their leadership. My job wasn’t to hold women back but to train them and set them on their way. American design has always been shared equally with men and women. It’s one of the few American businesses that has maintained the equality. For every Givenchy, there was a Claire McCardell. And today, for every Narciso Rodriguez, there’s a Donna Karan. Imagine that.

AT: In Lucia, Lucia you never marry and yet you’re out on the town with women all the time.

D: Yeah?

AT: Some readers think you may have been gay.

D: (Laughs) Okay.

AT: Well, do you want to say what you are?

D: No.

AT: Why not?

D: In my day, those matters stayed between the sheets, where they
belonged. I find it a little distasteful that you asked.

AT: I’m sorry.

D: That’s another thing about this new century that I find appalling. There is an utter lack of decorum. People say whatever is on their minds. You know, there’s a space between the brain and mouth for a reason: travel time. Think about it.

AT: I will! And please, accept my apology for offending you.

D: No offense taken. Just, in the future, stay out of my private business.

AT: I promise I will. One final question.

D: Go ahead.

AT: What is beauty to you? Could you define it for the reader?

D: Great question, as I’ve spent my life thinking about it. A beautiful woman is self-possessed, and what that means is, she doesn’t nitpick. She sees herself as a whole. Her intellect is an asset, but so is her ability to move across the room gracefully, wear the right shade of blue, and bake chicken to perfection. A woman should live her life on many levels but always beautifully. What she sees when her eyes open first thing in the morning should be aesthetically pleasing —I say, Make your bedroom the most gorgeous room in your home, because it’s the first place you are in the morning. Make your world pleasing to you. Even the pen you write your rent check with should have a certain something. When you’re at work, think about the coffee you drink at your desk: Drink it from fine bone china instead of paper and savor the difference. Work hard but put it in a context, don’t let your job become your lover and your baby and your purpose; rather, let your career be what it is: industriousness that makes it possible to live a beautiful life.

AT: Any tips on aging? You look better than ever.

D: (Laughs) Thank you. Sleep ten hours a night. That means if you’re out all night, don’t get up till sunset.

AT: Cheaper than a face-lift.

D: Always. And then, of course, there’s one final note on beauty regardless of your age . . .

AT: And what’s that?

D: Believe you’re beautiful and most everyone will agree with you.

AT: Thank you, Delmarr.

D: No, no, thank you. This was lots of fun.

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