Official Literary Website of Author

Victoria's Family

Nobody Truly Knows Who or What Walks Among Us

To the outside world, the African-American family of Bob and Catherine Pittman seems to be a loving, successful couple with two children. Christopher is a budding architect and fiercely protective of his little sister, Victoria. She is a charming, precocious twelve-year-old, unusually smart, and not at all what she appears. Victoria has a carefully guarded secret, about who and what she is that changes the lives of everyone around her, a secret that leaves her father dead, her Uncle David astounded, and her mother, clinging to her sanity. "Aunt" Sidney is the only one perfectly at ease with all this.

 

An elegant, mysterious man appears, Charles Solomon. He knows Victoria's secret and the resistance she faces at home. He vows to remove anyone standing in the way of Victoria's wish to attend his school and make them pay dearly, killing them if necessary. With the assistance of a special stuffed rabbit, a stuffed owl, and several beings from another planet who've watched over Victoria's life since its inception, we see her claim her destiny.

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My Story

There are people who have known me for decades and will be shocked when they read this because the last place where most of me was known was Bennington College. They knew I was an artist, a writer, an activist, a thinker. I was allowed to simply be all of who I am. When I graduated from Bennington roughly thirty years of compartmentalization started. 

           So there are those who only know me as the award winning media professional, the editorial broadcast journalist, the radio talk show host, the documentary producer, the veteran political operative, the strategist, the communicator, the "Special Assistant" to local, state and national politicians. They know I've had some impressive bosses over the years, the late Senator Edward Brooke and the late Senator Edward Kennedy, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during his maiden run for the Senate. I've worked with and for Jesse Jackson, Anna Deveare Smith and Boston's Ten Point Coalition to name a few. George Miles,  a former boss at Boston's NBC affiliate said, "The idea of Janis having a boss is absurd!"

          Then there are people who only know me as a writer, beginning with my first published piece in Essence Magazine shortly after I graduated from college. I've written freelance pieces for several publications in metropolitan Boston, written numerous speeches, briefing papers, and co-authored a column in the Cambridge Chronicle for two years. I spent twenty-three days writing the two hundred and fifty page first draft of White Roses... and a year re-writing it. How I came to write White Roses... is a separate, stunning story that deserves to be told at another time. Three years were spent writing a memoir about my mother. It's been sitting in a manuscript box for over a decade waiting for me to rewrite it. I must do it before I die.

 

      The poetry of Anne Sexton, Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, Marge Piercy, Nikki Giovanni, and the wisdom of Caroline Myss, Matthew Fox, Black Elk, Oriah Mountain Dreamer, James Baldwin, John O'Donohue and Vine Deloria have sustained me through many versions of hell on earth.

          In New York City a small group knows I performed in an off-Broadway repertory company for young people before I graduated from high-school.They know about my penchant for acting and comedy, and that I've always loved the theatre, movies and ballet.  I've been told I don't suffer fools easily if at all. Over the years, I've had many nicknames, Red, The Little General, and Little Bits are a few. Sometimes they just call me, Pryor. My role models? Katherine Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, Tina Turner, Jane Goodall, Georgia O'keefe, Anna Wintour, Ella J. Baker, Twyla Tharp, Hannah Arendt, Caroline Myss, Fannie Lou Hamer and Miss Piggy. There are men who impress and inspire me for a variety of reasons: Liam Nesson, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Albert Camus, Vaclav Havel, my friend the late Dr. John Mack, Anthony Goldwyn, Matthew Fox, and the Kennedy brothers, John, Bobby and Ted.All of these people have taught me a great deal about the complexity of life and survival, and the courage it takes to simply live in these difficult times.

         Very few know of my life long interest and curiosity about God, or the Divine, or the Source. Naming It doesn't concern me so much as knowing It and It knowing me. Still fewer know that I have an interesting array of "gifts" that have served me very well over the years. I was born a Caulbearer. One person's death forced me to embrace and acknowledge these gifts and seek the peace of remote places. 

          There are scores of people who know me as the woman with cocker spaniels, who loves beautifully made clothes, expensive shoes, Lillet Blonde, peonies, hydrangeas, tulips. Two people know the significance of white roses in my life.

          For me, justice transcends fairness, and the frailty of loyalty can be easily shattered by a thoughtless remark or the tone of one's voice. I buy books before paying bills. All forms of incoming mail are viewed suspiciously and with contempt, unless it's a magazine or a book. I hate getting dressed up, and I've been told that I think really differently than most people.

          Three very different parts of the United States, the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, New York City (Manhattan specifically) and New England have shaped me along with some very progressive schools.

          People ask me where is home and I tell them, "I haven't gotten there yet." I am a contradiction for whom linear thinking is simply one option.

 
My Books

White Roses

Dinner with Trixie

Victoria's Family

 
IN THE PRESS

I was deeply touched by this book. The author openly bares her soul and shares her happiness, pain, hope, frustration and acceptance of a love that goes beyond our worldly imagination. I found this story so profound and I was so touched by her words. She has a lovely way of expressing her emotions and drawing the reader into the story so beautifully. I think this is truly a story for the ages and should be read with an open mind and open heart. Janice Pryor shows us that there are things we may not understand but by accepting them those things can truly touch our lives.

Bionda