Barbara Moscato Brown Memorial Library Welcomes Local Author to Discuss His New Novel Set in Sinnemahoning Area
EMPORIUM -- The Barbara Moscato Brown Memorial Library is pleased to welcome area author P.J. Piccirillo on Monday evening, October 14, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. for a book signing and Q&A session about his latest title, “The Indigo Scarf”, a work of historical fiction set in the Sinnemahoning area. Piccirillo notes that the book has been heavily researched over the years, and encourages anyone planning to attend the event to read the book ahead of time so he can better address any questions readers may have regarding accuracy and methodology. The book is currently available to loan at the library and will also be available for sale at the front desk leading up to the event. For questions regarding the event, please contact the library at 814-486-8011 or find us on Facebook! New novel addresses the historical legacy of slavery — “A wonderful tale with glimpses of classics like Gone With The Wind, Roots, and ... Amistad.” — Ken Bangs, author of Guardians In Blue
ABOUT THE BOOK: In 1882, Anna Maria Sharpe is departing from Washington’s Baltimore and Potomac Railroad station for the north-central Pennsylvania backwoods she’d fled in her teens doubtful of her identity. She encounters Benjamin James, a drifting, alcoholic longshoreman who’d been implicated in the murder of his brother during Anna Maria’s childhood. Benjamin decides to join her. Along the way, he relates the tale of the ancestors of their sordid hideaway settlement: his father, the infamous ex-slave Jedediah James; George Sharpe, a former indentured grist-miller whom Anna Maria believes was her grandfather; and Sarah Starret and Rosanna Wheler, the white women they had escaped with to the wild Sinnemahone country. Through the story, Anna Maria discovers an intimate connection to the man Benjamin had been accused of murdering, and to the murderer.
Benjamin’s account of the life of Jedediah James reveals a fatal obsession with ownership driving this freed slave toward his reckoning. Clandestine Quakers and a sympathetic prothonotary try to help James as hostilities build to a head between him and the august revolutionary war veteran Samson Starret and Thomas Tillman, a man fixated on a woman an ex-slave threatens to steal from him on the eve of his possessing her. The scenes of The Indigo Scarf take the reader from a forbidden slave marriage on a plantation in Virginia’s tidewater region to the tragic end of a whiskey and timber-pirating operation on the Susquehanna’s un-peopled and feral West Branch during the frontier decades after Pennsylvania’s last Indian purchase.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: PJ Piccirillo is an award-winning author and literary artist-in-residence for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. A two-time winner of the Appalachian Writers Association Harriette Arnow Award for the Short Story, PJ’s fiction and articles have appeared in journals, magazines, newspapers, and syndicates. Much of PJ’s work is set in northcentral Pennsylvania.