New Novel from Pam Durban Recovers Story of Brutal Jim Crow-Era Lynching

In The Tree of Forgetfulness, Pam Durban, winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award, continues her exploration of southern history and memory. This mesmerizing and disquieting novel recovers the largely untold story of a brutal Jim Crow–era triple lynching in Aiken County, South Carolina. Through the interweaving of several characters’ voices, Durban produces a complex narrative in which each section reveals a different facet of the event. The Tree of Forgetfulness resurrects a troubled past and explores the individual and collective loyalties that led a community to choose silence over justice.

Pam Durban is the author of All Set About with Fever Trees, The Laughing Place, and So Far Back. Her stories and essays have been widely published, and her short story “Soon” was included in The Best American Short Stories of the Century. She is Doris Betts Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina.

Praise for Pam Durban

“Pam Durban renders her characters and their world with such rich and beautiful complexity that the only fair response to someone asking what it’s about is to press the book into their hands and insist they read it.”—Tommy Hays, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Haunting and irresistible . . . Durban has written a splendid, engrossing, and, above all, deeply thoughtful novel that will linger in readers’ minds long after they close its cover.”— Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Oxford American

“Durban’s carefully managed cast of characters—antebellum aristocrats, slave families and their descendants in the modern South—are drawn with subtle grace, producing a narrative of compelling intensity.”—Publishers Weekly

October 12, 2012
200 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Paper $23.00, ebook available