linwood barclay author of the month the forgotten summer carol drinkwater book price comparison scandi crime Maxim Jakubowskis Selection

The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng

The Garden of Evening Mists

Literary Fiction   All Shortlists and Winners   eBook Favourites   
Download an extract Discuss on Facebook Discuss this book on our Literary Contemporary Facebook group Add to wishlist Share this book

Lovereading view...

Winner of the Man Asian Literary Prize 2012.

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012.

It's Malaya, 1949. After studying law at Cambrige and time spent helping to prosecute Japanese war criminals, Yun Ling Teoh 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.

Winner of the Man Asian Literary Prize 2012.

Maya Jaggi, Chair of the Man Asian Literary Prize judges, said: "The winner, The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng, revisits the traumatic aftermath of the Japanese occupation of Malaya, and the post-war insurgency against British rule, with stylistic poise and probing intelligence. Taking its aesthetic cues from the artful deceptions of Japanese landscape gardening, it opens up a startling perspective on converging histories, using the feints and twists of fiction to explore its themes of personal and national honour; love and atonement; memory and forgetting; and the disturbing co-existence of cultural refinement and barbarism."

Sir Peter Stothard, Chair of Man Booker Prize 2012 judging panel, on The Garden of Evening Mists...

'The Garden of Evening Mists is the second novel by the Malaysian writer, Tan Twan Eng, and is also from a discerning small publisher. In some of the most poised, precise prose offered to us this year, it is the story a Japanese garden created in honour of a Japanese victim of war - and is sternly paced to match its subject. One of us, I remember, likened its beauty to that of 'slowly clashing icebergs'. We all admired the serenity of the gardener, Aritomo, former servant of the Emperor, and one of the most memorable characters in all the 30,000 pages or so that we have read.'

If you like Tan Twan Eng you might also like to read books by Eowyn Ivey, Kyung-Sook Shin and Geoff Ryman.


The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng

Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo, the exiled former gardener of the Emperor of Japan, 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?

About the Author

Tan Twan Eng was born in Penang but lived in various places in Malaysia as a child. He studied law through the University of London and later worked as lawyer in one of Kuala Lumpur's most reputable law firms. He also has a first-dan ranking in aikido and is a strong proponent for the conservation of heritage buildings. His debut novel, The Gift of Rain was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. Tan Twan Eng lives in Cape Town where he is working on his third novel.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

11th February 2012


Tan Twan Eng

More books by Tan Twan Eng
Author 'Like for Like'

Author's Website

Author's Facebook Latest

Loading facebook updates...


Myrmidon Books Ltd


448 pages


Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



Thanks to Lovereading I have discovered new writers and read books I would never had looked twice at - and enjoyed them.

Angela Rhodes

Because of Lovereading I have broadened my reading horizons with some really great books that I probably would never have chosen myself.

Susan Walsh

Its jam packed with fantastic titles, informative descriptions & fantastic reviews and has a vast array of great features & competitions.

Linda Rollins

Lovereading does a stella job in promoting both new and established authors.

Iris Clements

Lovereading helps me decide what real people read.

Kerry Bridges

I read new, exciting writers and established authors before publication and there is a great website full of brilliant books and opinions.


What can I say, the clue is in the title Lovereading - and awesome books.

Sarah Davis

The best new books on the market, reviewed honestly, to give your readers the best choices.

Julie Cook