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P.G. County by Connie Briscoe

P.G. County

Best Seller
P.G. County by Connie Briscoe
Paperback $13.95
Sep 30, 2003 | ISBN 9780345444134

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  • Sep 30, 2003 | ISBN 9780345444134

    Also available from:

  • Sep 17, 2002 | ISBN 9780385508308

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Product Details


“A big, dishy page-turner that will intrigue, amuse, and captivate.”
Author of A Love of My Own

“With P.G. County, Connie Briscoe has outdone herself. She has brought us lives that are too often ignored.”
Black Elegance magazine and Jones Media Network

“AN ENTERTAINING ROMP . . . THOROUGHLY AND DELIGHTFULLY ENJOYABLE . . . Briscoe paints a vivid picture of the haves, the have-nots, and the gonna-gets, as they mix and mingle in this social jambalaya. . . . [Her] quick wit and obvious love of language shine brightly in this twisted tale.”
Black Issues Book Review

Upscale magazine

“Engaging . . . Prince George’s County, Maryland, [is] one of the wealthiest enclaves in the U.S. and a breeding ground for juicy characters.”
Today’s Black Woman

“[P.G. County] bubbles over with enough dirty dealings to fuel a season’s worth of soap operas . . . Drama ensues for one and all.”
Honey magazine

“A comic satire . . . The lives of five very different women are dramatically revealed in a complex story of love, lust, and dirty secrets. . . . The author demonstrates consummate skill as she reels the characters into a hilarious denouement.”
Library Journal

“Entertaining . . . A gossipy tell-all that goes behind the scenes of suburban life to reveal the secrets of the inhabitants of Silver Lake . . . Briscoe uses her skill as a talented storyteller to deliver just the right touch of intrigue.”
Publishers Weekly

Author Q&A

Q & A with Connie Briscoe
A Conversation with Connie Briscoe, bestselling author of Sisters & Lovers and P.G. COUNTY

PG County is a definite departure from your last book A LONG WAY HOME since it could be considered historical fiction. What inspired you to return to your contemporary commercial fiction roots?

After researching and writing about slavery for A Long Way From Home, I really needed to work on something light and uplifting, something fun.

Rumor has it that your research included a move to a new house in Prince George’s County. How does your real life compare to your characters, Barbara, Jolene and Pearl?

I live in Howard County–which is next to Prince George’s–in a semi-rural area. Our life here is wonderfully serene and routine. That’s why I love working with characters like Jolene and Barbara. They allow me to step completely out of my own character.

Mark Twain once said: "In Boston they ask ‘What do you know?’, in New York it’s ‘How much do you make?’ and in Philadelphia its ‘Who were your parents?’." What do you think folks in PG County would ask upon introduction?

In Prince George’s County it would probably be something like "Who Do You Know?" or "Do You Know So-and-So?" Many residents are transplants from Washington, D.C. The families have been in the D.C. metro area for generations, and we’re always running into someone who knows someone….That’s probably why even though Prince George’s is a fairly big, populous county it sometimes feels like a small town.

Jolene is obsessed with improving both her wealth and standing in the community, much to the detriment of her marriage. As you know our tag line for this book is: " Welcome to PG COUNTY: Where having it all isn’t enough." Can you talk about "having it all " and what it means for your characters?

I think a lot of people in middle- and upper-middle class suburban communities are extremely status conscious. Keeping up with the Jones’s can become an obsession, especially if you’re new to the lifestyle as Barbara and a lot of African Americans are. The status symbols such as the big, new Mercedes Benz or the Mini-Mansion show that "you’ve arrived"–finally.

Some of the women in the book are serious fashion divas who were "born to shop" while others are content to be everyday gals. Can you tell us your thoughts about the pressures in our society for women to both be "beautiful" and "Keep up with the Jones"?

Yes, there is far more pressure on women than on men to look good. How many men do you know who won’t step outside without putting their makeup on? Unfortunately, many women are like that. I was at one time, too, so I can understand someone like Jolene. But I grew out of it. Don’t get me wrong. Getting dressed up can be fun. I love clothes, especially shoes. Every girl should have a pair of Manolo Blahniks even if she has to save for months. But with my casual lifestyle now as a writer and mom, you’ll usually find me in a pair of faded jeans or shorts and some beat-up Birkenstocks. If I get dressed up it’s because I’m in the mood to do that, not because I feel I have to.

The character of the runaway Leigh is so lost and troubled–what are the lessons you hoped young people would take away from her story?

Lee represents the other side of African-American life in Prince George’s County. For every one of us living in a nice, big house with two or three cars in the driveway, there are many more out there who are still struggling. We get wrapped up in acquiring the next status symbol and sometimes forget that. Then someone like Lee comes along–even if only in a news report–and reminds us how far we’ve come but also how far we have to go.

Jolene is so flamboyant and outrageous, did you have a role-model for creating her character?

Yes–Alexis Carrington of the T.V. series Dynasty. She was a scream.

Although you have touched upon some serious issues in PG County, overall the tone is so fun and gossipy that it is already being compared to a modern day Peyton Place. Can we expect a sequel?

I’m already plotting new schemes for Jolene and trying to decide if Barbara should dump Brandon. Should Pearl hook up with Patrick? Should Kenyatta and Ashley get married? Lee will definitely hang around Silver Lake since she provides so many opportunities to create conflict.

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