The Garden of Evening Mists, By Tan Twan Eng
Boyd Tonkin is Literary Editor at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Social Policy Editor of the New Statesman and has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes. He has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature.
Friday 10 May 2013
Shortlisted for the Man Booker, and winner of the Man Asian prize, the Malaysian author's second novel merits its loud applause.
In the late-colonial Cameron Highlands of the 1950s, with Malaya scarred by memories of Japanese occupation and shaken by insurgency, a young woman lawyer befriends the Japanese gardener who, mysteriously, tends his lovely landscape in the hills.
War, art and memory join in a subtle story, notable for its ravishing prose, glorious sense of place, and mature alertness to the deceptive vistas of history.
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