State of Things
10:08 am
Wed November 14, 2012

The Tree of Forgetfulness

englishcomplit.unc.edu

Aiken, South Carolina is an affluent town made up of horse farms and country estates. Its pastoral splendor hides a truly ugly past. In 1926, three members of the Lowman family were sitting in jail, charged with the death of a local sheriff.

sA mob of whites broke into the jail, hauled the three Black Lowmans out into public view and shot them execution style. No one was ever convicted of this crime. Writer Pam Durban grew up in Aiken but didn’t hear about the Lowman lynchings until she was an adult, researching a novel. The Lowman lynchings are the model for the crime that anchors Pam Durban’s newest novel, “The Tree of Forgetfulness” (Louisiana State University Press/2012). Pam Durban is the Doris Betts distinguished professor of creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and she joins host Frank Stasio on the show today.

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