Tan Twan Eng

gift-of-rain-1Garden of Mists

There are scenes in these two magical novels that I will never forget, pictures painted indelibly in my mind, full of the most powerfully visceral emotions, at times painfully tragic, at others stunningly beautiful. At heart, both books deal with the impossible moral choices that we are forced to make in extreme conditions—in this case the run up to WWII in Malaya, from the end of English colonialism through the Japanese occupation and the turmoil of the post war years. Tan was born in Penang, part of modern Malaysia, was educated in England, and writes, with supreme artistry, in English. I wholeheartedly recommend these two achingly human, intensely moving meditations on loss, memory and the nature of virtue.

 

 

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