“On a mountain above the clouds once lived a man who had been the gardener of the Emperor of Japan. Not many people would have known him before the war, but I did”
Tan Twan Eng’s rich, absorbing, internationally bestselling, Man Booker-shortlisted epic
A BBC TWO BETWEEN THE COVERS BOOK CLUB PICK
AN INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE
WINNER OF THE MAN ASIAN LITERARY PRIZE AND THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE
Teoh Yun Ling was seventeen years old when she first heard about Aritomo and the garden. But a war would come to Malaya, and a decade pass before she would travel to see him. A man of extraordinary skill and reputation, Aritomo was once the gardener for the Emperor of Japan, and now Yun Ling needs him. She needs him to help her build a memorial to her beloved sister, killed at the hands of the Japanese. She wants to learn everything Aritomo can teach her, and do her sister proud, but to do so she must also begin a journey into her own past, a past inextricably linked with the secrets of her troubled country.
A story of art, war, love and memory, The Garden of Evening Mists captures a dark moment in history with richness, power and incredible beauty.
“Complex and powerful … sophisticated and satisfying”
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“It is impossible to resist the opening sentence of this sumptuously produced novel … It showcases Tan Twan Eng as a master of cultural complexities”
“Elegant and atmospheric”
“An elegant and haunting novel of war, art and memory … its beauty never comes to rest”
“Tantalisingly evocative … Suffused with a satisfying richness of colour and character, it still abounds in hidden passageways and occult corners. Mysteries and secrets persist. Tan dwells often on the borderline states, the in between areas, of Japanese art: the archer’s hiatus before the arrow speeds from the bow; the patch of skin that a master of the horimono tattoo will leave bare; or the “beautiful and sorrowful” moment “just as the last leaf is about to drop” … An elegant and haunting novel of war, art and memory”
Tan Twan Eng was born in Penang, Malaysia. His debut novel The Gift of Rain was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2007 and has been widely translated. The Garden of Evening Mists won the Man Asian Literary Prize 2012 and the 2013 Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012 and the 2014 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. He divides his time between Kuala Lumpur and Cape Town.