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A former slave named Persimmon Wilson is accused of the murder of his ex-master Joseph Wilson and the kidnapping of Wilson’s wife. In the street below his cell, carpenters build his gallows. In the town there is gathering excitement over the upcoming execution for Persimmon Wilson is notorious. Not only is he a black man who killed a white man and degraded that man’s wife, but he is also the “black Indian” known as Twist Rope who rode, raided and terrorized Texas settlements and farms with the Comanche Indians.
In the last days of his life, this literate ex-slave and Comanche warrior requests paper and ink and begins to write a very different story about from the one that is told about him. He admits to participating in the 1970 raid on Drunken Bride and running his spear through the man known as Joseph Wilson. He admits to riding off with the woman known as Wilson’s wife, but disputes her identity, claiming instead that she is his own wife, a light-skinned former house slave named Chloe. This brilliantly written, action packed novel will haunt you from beginning to devastating end.
Nancy Peacock’s first novel, Without Water, was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book. Her second novel, Home Across the Road was followed with a memoir, A Broom of One’s Own: Housecleaning and Life about her experiences supposting herself as a self-emplyed housecleaner while writing and publishing. She teaches writing in her studio in Orange County, North Carolina.