The House Of Doors
The third novel from the Booker-shortlisted author exploring love, betrayal and morality in 1920s Penang
It is 1921 and at Cassowary House in the Straits Settlements of Penang, Robert Hamlyn is a well-to-do lawyer and his steely wife Lesley a society hostess. Their lives are invigorated when Willie, an old friend of Robert’s, comes to stay.
Willie Somerset Maugham is one of the greatest writers of his day. But he is beleaguered by an unhappy marriage, ill-health and business interests that have gone badly awry. He is also struggling to write. The more Lesley’s friendship with Willie grows, the more clearly she see him as he is – a man who has no choice but to mask his true self.
As Willie prepares to leave and face his demons, Lesley confides secrets of her own, including how she came to know the charismatic Dr Sun Yat Sen, a revolutionary fighting to overthrow the imperial dynasty of China. And more scandalous still, she reveals her connection to the case of an Englishwoman charged with murder in the Kuala Lumpur courts – a tragedy drawn from fact, and worthy of fiction.
From Man Booker Prize-shortlisted Tan Twan Eng, The House of Doors is a masterful novel of public morality and private truth a century ago. Based on real events it is a drama of love and betrayal under the shadow of Empire.
About the Author:
Tan Twan Eng was born in Penang, Malaysia. He lives in Kuala Lumpur.
The Gift of Rain, his first novel, was Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. It has been translated into Italian, Spanish, Greek, Hungarian, Russian, Romanian, Czech and Serbian.
His second and latest novel, The Garden of Evening Mists, was published in September 2012. It has been Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012. Boyd Tonkin in The Independent called it:
'an elegant and haunting novel of art and war and memory...Tan writes with breath-catching poise and grace, linguistic refinement and searching intelligence...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.'
It has been translated been into German, French, Italian, Serbian, Spanish, Dutch, Polish, Hungarian, Macedonian, Taiwanese Chinese, Farsi, Japanese, Indonesian, Korean, Russian, and Norwegian.
The Garden of Evening Mists won the Man Asian Literary Prize in March 2013.
In June it won the Walter Scott Prize 2013, from a shortlist of authors which included Hilary Mantel, Rose Tremain, Thomas Keneally, Pat Barker and Anthony Quinn.
The Garden of Evening Mists was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2014.
It was adapted into an award-winning film in 2019, starring Sylvia Chang, Angelica Lee Sinje, Hiroshi Abe, Tan Kheng Hua, John Hannah, David Oakes, Julian Sands, and was directed by notable Taiwanese director Tom Lin.
His third novel, The House of Doors, will be published in the UK on 18 May 2023.
Dimensions (cm): 2.5 x 15.3 x 23.3
Publisher,Canongate Books Ltd
No. of Pages, 320