From the novel by Martha Blum
The Walnut Tree tells the story of the intense journey of SŸssel, a young, privileged Jewish woman who grows up in Chernowitz, studies in Prague and Paris, endures the horrors of World War II in Eastern Europe, and ultimately escapes to the peace and promise of a new life in Saskatoon. The character of the older SŸssel looks back at her life, accompanied by her alter ego, a Musician, who performs on a grand piano. This powerful, disturbing, and transcendent drama sets the devastating power of historical events against the personal forces of reconciliation. The Walnut Tree deals with vital social, political, and ethical issues, and finally–and most importantly–with enduring love.
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“As dark as it could have been, this is a play about hope and love, not recrimination. You’re left impressed by the resilience of the human spirit, not discouraged about its capacity for evil. You’ll find The Walnut Tree on the high road.” —Saskatoon Star-Phoenix
About the Author
Geoffrey Ursell was an award-winning writer of drama for stage, television, and radio, as well as of fiction, poetry, and songs. His stage plays won three national playwriting awards, and his novel Perdue won the Books in Canada First Novel Award. Geoff’s plays include the thriller Dead Midnight, Winning the Prairie Gamble (a collaboration with Barbara Sapergia,) Gold on Ice, and the musical comedy Saskatoon Pie!. He also dramatized Martha Blum’s acclaimed novel The Walnut Tree. Ursell, who was born in Moose Jaw and grew up in Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg, was a founding member and managing publisher of Coteau Books. He served as president of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild and the Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre, and was an integral member of the province’s literary scene. In 2009, he was awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit for his work in the arts. Geoff died in 2021.