Announcing the Audio Release of PJ Piccirillo’s The Indigo Scarf
Award-winning author PJ Piccirillo’s historical novel The Indigo Scarf is now available as an audiobook.
Veteran stage, film and voice actress Darla Middlebrook portrays all the complexity and nuance that distinguish the characters and forbidding landscapes of this unflinching depiction of two slaves who with white women flee the black codes of post-colonial Pennsylvania only to confront the privations of a wild frontier, all the while their former owners scheming their return.
About The Indigo Scarf
Based on the true story of two slaves who fled their owners with white women into the wilderness of north-central Pennsylvania, The Indigo Scarf interprets the little known legacy of slavery persisting in the north during the nineteenth century. Meticulously researched, the author’s work is informed by scholars in early American slave laws and northern black codes, by experts in post-colonial folkways, and by descendants who live to this day in the fugitive settlement their forbears established. While The Indigo Scarf relates the covert workings of sympathetic 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 while they confront a hostile frontier. On a broader scale, the story is a testament to the perseverance and vision of pioneer women who devoted themselves to planting in their offspring the seeds of hope for liberty which may only be realized by descendants they would never know.
Woven between scenes spanning a forbidden, historically based slave marriage on a plantation in Virginia’s tidewater region to a tragic liquor operation on the Susquehanna’s un-peopled and feral West Branch during the frontier decades after Pennsylvania’s last Indian purchase, a sub-tale culminates in the narrator’s realization that she had been destined as just such a descendent to break the generational chain of bondage.
Praise for The Indigo Scarf
USA Today-bestselling author David Poyer says: “The story never falters, and the description certainly clearly evokes the time period and the mountains and valleys this author obviously loves. The escaped slave Jedidiah especially is a tormented soul; his story and ultimate fate sucked me in. …for the thoughtful reader it rings astoundingly true. This skilled and talented author should be much better known!” And Bruce Pratt, author of The Trash Detail, writes: “Rich in illuminative detail, a deep sense of history, and a remarkable sense of place, this narrative is driven by beautifully drawn characters limned in exquisite prose. A literary page-turner of the highest stripe.”
“Epic in scope, The Indigo Scarf offers a cautionary tale that spans decades as characters confront the brutal legacy of slavery. Historically anchored, and set geographically in a wilderness both harsh and spirit-breaking, Piccirillo confronts—among many—themes of redemption and bitterness, loyalty and freedom. Told in a clear-edged prose, I found myself carried deeper and deeper into the events and lives of these characters. And without ever being instructed on how to interpret or feel, I nonetheless finished the novel thinking about the myriad lessons for our troubled times.” —Jack Driscoll, author of The Goat Fish and The Lover’s Knot
“PJ Piccirillo’s The Indigo Scarf is a riveting and unflinching work of historical fiction of the highest order that deserves to be widely read and appreciated. Rich in illuminative detail, a deep sense of history, and a remarkable sense of place, this narrative is driven by beautifully drawn characters limned in exquisite prose. A literary page-turner of the highest stripe.”
Bruce Pratt, author of The Trash Detail and Serpents of Bliss
“A fascinating, rich story.” Lee Byrd, Publisher, Cinco Puntos Press
About PJ Piccirillo
A two-time winner of the Appalachian Writers Association Harriette Arnow Award for Short Story, PJ is the author of The Indigo Scarf (Sunbury Press 2019 SUNY Award winner), Heartwood (Middleton Books), 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, founder of the Writers Conference of Northern Appalachia (WCoNA)™, and founding editor and editor-in-chief of the Northern Appalachia Review. An instructor of English and Humanities at Butler County Community College, PJ holds an M.F.A. from the University of Southern Maine and a B.A. in English from Saint Francis University.
About Narrator Darla Middlebrook
Darla Middlebrook is an experienced stage and film actress with a background in Speech Pathology and singing. Skilled at delivering broad emotional range across a repertoire of characters, from male to female voices, young to elderly, Darla is known for conveying a sense of wonder when telling stories.