Tan Twan Eng The Garden of Evening Mists

ISBN 13: 9781782110170

The Garden of Evening Mists

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9781782110170: The Garden of Evening Mists

SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2012. Malaya, 1949. After studying law at Cambrige and time spent helping to prosecute Japanese war criminals, Yun Ling Teoh, herself the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle fringed plantations of Northern Malaya where she grew up as a child. There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the Emperor of Japan. Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in Kuala Lumpur, in memory of her sister who died in the camp. Aritomo refuses, but agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice 'until the monsoon comes'. Then she can design a garden for herself. As the months pass, Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to her sensei and his art while, outside the garden, the threat of murder and kidnapping from the guerrillas of the jungle hinterland increases with each passing day. But the Garden of Evening Mists is also a place of mystery. Who is Aritomo and how did he come to leave Japan? Why is it that Yun Ling's friend and host Magnus Praetorius, seems to almost immune from the depredations of the Communists? What is the legend of 'Yamashita's Gold' and does it have any basis in fact? And is the real story of how Yun Ling managed to survive the war perhaps the darkest secret of all?

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About the Author:

Tan Twan Eng was born in Penang, Malaysia. He worked as an Intellectual Property lawyer before resigning from his position to write his novel, The Gift of Rain which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. His second novel, The Garden of Evening Mists, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012. He divides his time between Kuala Lumpur and Cape Town.

Review:

The Independent
“The Garden of Evening Mists
offers action-packed, end-of-empire storytelling in the vein of Tan’s compatriot Tash Aw. His fictional garden cultivates formal harmony –but also undermines it. It unmasks sophisticated artistry as a partner of pain and lies. This duality invests the novel with a climate of doubt; a mood – as with Aritomo’s creation – of “tension and possibility”. Its beauty never comes to rest.”

Boyd Tonkin, The Independent (UK)
“A rising star from Malaysia . . . Tan writes with breath-catching poise and grace. [The Garden of Evening Mists is a novel of] linguistic refinement and searching intelligence. . . . But for all its mission to ‘capture stillness on paper’. . . The Garden of Evening Mists also offers action-packed, end-of-empire storytelling.”

Dominique Browning, The New York Times Book Review“[A] strong quiet novel [of] eloquent mystery.”


Booklist
“The unexpected relationship between a war-scarred woman and an exiled gardener leads to a journey through remorse to a kind of peace. After a notable debut, Eng (The Gift of Rain, 2008) returns to the landscape of his origins with a poetic, compassionate, sorrowful novel set in the aftermath of World War II in Malaya...Grace and empathy infuse this melancholy landscape of complex loyalties enfolded by brutal history, creating a novel of peculiar, mysterious, tragic beauty.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW“As intricately designed as a Japanese garden, this deceptively quiet novel resonates with the power to inspire a variety of passionate emotions...A haunting novel certain to stay with the reader long after the book is closed.”
 Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
“Like his debut, The Gift of Rain (2007), Tan’s second novel is exquisite...Tan triumphs again, entwining the redemptive power of storytelling with the elusive search for truth, all the while juxtaposing Japan’s inhumane war history with glorious moments of Japanese art and philosophy. All readers in search of spectacular writing will not be disappointed.”

Philadelphia Inquirer
"Beautifully written...Eng is quite simply one of the best novelists writing today." 

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