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October Book Review

October 2021 Book Review Luncheon

November Book Review

The Land by Steve and Martha Huddy

Mr. PJ Piccirillo presents Friends Book Review for November

PJ Piccirillo will review his book The Indigo Scarf on Friday, November 5, 2021, starting at 12:15 PM and continuing until 12:45 PM. Piccirillo is a two-time winner of the Appalachian Writers Association Award for Short Fiction. He is the author of The Indigo Scarf, Heartwood and the forthcoming Nunc Stans—A Ferry Tale. His fiction and articles have appeared in journals, magazines, newspapers, and syndicates. He is a literary artist-in-residence for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. An advocate for the region’s under-recognized writing, he has worked to build a name for its authors and a brand for its books by founding the Writers Conference of Northern Appalachia (WCoNA)™ and the Northern Appalachia Review, of which he is the current editor-in-chief. An instructor of English and Humanities at Butler County Community College, Piccirillo holds an M.F.A. from the University of Southern Maine and a B.A. in English from Saint Francis University.

The Indigo Scarf is set in and around Williamsport during the early 19th century. Based on the true story of two slaves who fled their owners with white women into the wilderness upriver of Williamsport, The Indigo Scarf interprets the little-known legacy of slavery persisting in the North during the nineteenth century. Numerous scenes take place in a fledgling Williamsport, accurately rendered as it was in the early 19th century: an outpost on the frontier, whiskey one of its chief commodities. The Williamsport reader is treated to some of the novel’s tensest scenes, which take place in town and among community founders during showdowns in the original courthouse, and to colorful encounters with the wags of the old Russell Inn. While The Indigo Scarf relates the covert workings of sympathetic Muncy Hills Quakers, the ruthlessness of a slave catcher, and the irony of a Revolutionary War veteran forced to face his daughter’s love for the slave Jedediah James, it treats the deeper theme of the spirit-breaking impact slavery has had across generations since abolition.

Though shadowed in whiskey-making and timber-pirating, The Indigo Scarf is a paean to devotion, testing the lengths a woman will go to save her man from a burning vengeance as he confronts the privations of a wild frontier while his former owner schemes his return. On a broader scale, the story is a testament to the perseverance and vision of Pennsylvania pioneer women who devoted themselves to planting in their offspring the seeds of hope for liberty that may only be realized by descendants they would never know. The Indigo Scarf is available anywhere books are sold, including Otto Bookstore, Amazon, and Sunbury Press.

The event begins at noon on Friday, November 5. Snacks and water will be available or bring a bag lunch, if desired. Donations will be accepted. The review begins at 12:15PM until 12:45PM with Q&A until 1PM. Reserve a seat by calling the library at 326-0536 Ext. 134 or use the library’s online reservation calendar (http://calendar.jvbrown.edu). Reservations are required due to space considerations and must be made before 3:00 PM on Wednesday, November 3. Parking is available in the public lot off Market Street, adjacent to the Welch Wing.