"Deepened and vastly expanded in scope, this new novel is based on the epic story of her phenomenally successful play, which opened Off-Broadway to unanimous critical acclaim, winning the prestigious Obie Award for Best Play of 2001," according to an announcement. "The Syringa Tree" is the story of love between two families, one black, one white, and the two children who are born into their shared household in the early 1960s in South Africa. "Seen first though the eyes of a six-year-old child as she tries to make sense of the chaos and magic of her world, the novel follows their destinies through four generations, from early apartheid to the present day free South Africa."
Set in the heart of Africa, and in America, "the profound universal themes of this story have had a powerful and emotional resonance with audiences around the world."
In the play Pamela Gien portrayed all 24 characters in a tour-de-force performance, winning both the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for Outstanding Solo Performance, and a nomination for the John Gassner Playwriting Award. Since then, The Syringa Tree has had countless productions all over the world, some with more than one actress playing the roles
Gien herself performed the play at the Royal National Theatre in London, in Seattle, Toronto, Los Angeles, Boston, Vancouver, and — fulfilling her longtime dream of taking — South Africa. The Cape Town run was acclaimed and sold out in 2005. Her performance has also been filmed for television on the Trio Network.
In this new novel, Pamela Gien gives a personal voice to the joys, atrocities and hopes of her homeland.
Following the July 3 publication of the book, Pamela will embark on a multi-city tour, making personal appearances in which she will read selections from the novel.