• 66°

Coming Sunday on ‘North Carolina Bookwatch’

By D.G. Martin

North Carolina Bookwatch

Nancy Peacock talks about “The Life & Times of Persimmon Wilson” on “North Carolina Bookwatch” Sunday, April 16, at noon and Thursday, April 20, at 5 p.m.

“I have been to hangings before, but never my own.”

These are the opening lines of Hillsborough author Peacock’s novel.

The narrator, Percy Wilson, continues, “Still, it should be some comfort to me that except for the noose around my neck, and the drop that will take my life, I know exactly what to expect two days hence. I know there will be a crowd like there always is at a hanging: picnics, baskets lined with checkered cloths, the smell of fried chicken, and the noise of children. There will be, like there always is, a preacher, and a group of white women dressed in black, singing me to their god.

The time is 1875 and the book’s main character, Percy Wilson, is writing down his life’s story while awaiting his execution for murdering his former master and kidnapping and raping the master’s “wife,” who is also Percy’s former lover.

Wow!

But there is more, according to famed author Lee Smith, who wrote that from the “riveting beginning to the last perfect word, Nancy Peacock grabs her reader by the throat and forces him to hang on for dear life as the action moves from a Louisiana sugar plantation to life among the western Comanches, bringing to blazing life her themes of race and true love caught in the throes of history. ‘The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson’ is as deeply moving and exciting an American saga as has ever been penned.”

The New York Times named Peacock’s first novel, “Life Without Water,” one of its Notable Books. Her memoir, “A Broom of One’s: Own: Housecleaning,” about her experiences making a living cleaning other people’s houses gained widespread notice for making her readers share her time of somewhat humiliating work. As good as her earlier work has been, Percy’s story is my favorite.

Peacock self-published a version of the book three years ago.  It got the attention of a major publisher, Simon and Schuster, which released the new version earlier this year, and it is gaining the attention it deserves.

A selection for the opening chapter is available at: http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-Life-and-Times-of-Persimmon-Wilson/Nancy-Peacock/9781501116353#

Comments

Coronavirus

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors

Crime

One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday

News

Facing personnel deficiencies, local fire departments request tax rate increases

Local

‘Panic buying’ creates gas supply shortages locally, statewide after pipeline cyberattack

Business

Twice as nice: Planet Smoothie opens alongside Cold Stone Creamery in co-branded store

Local

Spencer board gets update on South Iredell rat problem

Education

West Rowan teacher awarded $15,000 outdoor learning grant

Cleveland

Town of Cleveland plans celebration May 22

High School

High school girls tennis: Busy Hornets win again easily

High School

High school softball: Nixon, Walton top all-county team

Education

All Hood Alumni and Friends Symposium scheduled June 18

Education

Shoutouts: Southern City Church awards educational gifts

Local

City to pave streets surrounding Bell Tower Green after park is constructed

Nation/World

Colonial Pipeline restarts operations days after major hack

Nation/World

Ohio’s million-dollar idea: Lottery prizes for vaccinations

Nation/World

GOP dumps defiant Trump critic Cheney from top House post

Nation/World

Israel steps up Gaza offensive, kills senior Hamas figures

Coronavirus

Fluctuating COVID-19 death number back to 302 in Rowan County

Crime

Habitual felon sentenced to at least 8 years in prison

Kannapolis

City of Kannapolis to have bike rodeo Saturday

Crime

Two more charged for operating illegal gambling businesses

Education

A.L. Brown celebrates seniors with signing day

Business

Rebounding, but not recovered: Rowan County tourism begins challenging path toward normalcy