Tan Twan Eng – BBC World Service Interview

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A special one-off interview with Tan Twan Eng is now live on the BBC website.

This month we’re in The Book Lounge Bookshop in Cape Town, South Africa and talking to the Malaysian novelist Tan Twan Eng about his Man Asian Literary Prize-winning novel, The Garden of Evening Mists.

This haunting tale, set in the jungles of Malaya during and after World War II, centres on Yun Ling, the sole survivor of a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in which her sister perished.

Driven by the desire to honour her sister’s memory through the creation of a lush and sensuous garden Yun Ling falls into a relationship with the enigmatic Japanese gardener Aritomo and begins a journey into her past, inextricably linked with the secrets of her troubled country’s history.’

(Picture: Tan Twan Eng. Credit: Lloyd Smith.)

Please Click Here for the full 50 minute interview.

The Anatomist’s Dream: longlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016

12829421_1165798966777742_973655231929934097_oThe beautiful novel by Clio Gray was recently longlisted for the prestigious Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction. The wonderful blog, Chronic Bibliophilia, wrote a lovely review of The Anatomist’s Dream describing Clio’s superb use of both language and style, and her skill at creating the most intriguing and colourful characters:

‘Again and again, Gray’s characters unwittingly breach boundaries, but these breaches are a calculated and deliberate trope through which Gray manipulates her story and her audience with masterful ease.’

‘Philbert, along with the reader, is urged to consider the impact of small lives and small actions. I expect Clio Gray’s action, and the lives she has created in “The Anatomist’s Dream”, to cause ripples in the literary world for years to come.’

To read the full review please click here, or to purchase your copy please click here.






Centenary News review for Cartographer


CentenaryNews.com has been launched to provide news and information about the 2014-2018 First World War Centenary.

It contains news items, videos, details of events, educational resources, and links to articles and blogs. The site also includes a summary of organisations who are involved with the study of the First World War, or who are planning Centenary events.

Recently Eleanor Baggley, Centenary News Books Editor, gave a glowing review of our incredibly popular novel, The Cartographer of No Man’s Land. Here’s a little taster of what Eleanor wrote about this thought-provoking novel:

‘As we approached the Centenary there was a flurry of new historical fiction based on World War One. It’s something we all expected – the subject, after all, is so rich and lends itself so easily to fiction. I’ve read some novels which have successfully captured the mood of the period and others which never quite grasped it. The Cartographer of No Man’s Land sits comfortably in that first group. P.S. Duffy has an extraordinary sense of the time and of the myriad ways men, women and children dealt with war. This, combined with a compelling story, make The Cartographer of No Man’s Land a novel worth reading.

‘For something slightly different or an alternative way of thinking about the soldier/civilian experience, I would highly recommend this novel. Not only is it a revealing examination of the transformative effect of war, it is also a beautifully written novel.’

To read the full article please visit the Centenary News website here.

Bloom Q&A with our very own P.S. Duffy

P.S. DuffyBloom is a literary site devoted to highlighting, profiling, reviewing, and interviewing authors whose first major work was published when they were age 40 or older.  Bloom is also a community of artists and readers who believe that “late” is a relative term, not an absolute one, and who are interested in bringing to attention a wide variety of artistic paths — challenging any narrow, prevailing ideas about the pacing and timing of creative fruition.  If someone is labeled a “late bloomer”, the question Bloom poses is, “Late” according to whom?

Freshly back from the Jersey Shore, debut novelist P.S. Duffy talks about writing her first book at age 10 although she didn’t publish her first novel until she was 65, her inability to ever return to her birth country of China, and how a stranger’s insistence that a group of men in khaki uniforms were waiting for her to tell their Great War story became her illuminating, haunting The Cartographer of No Man’s Land.

To read the full interview and Q&A please click on the link here.

The Garden of Evening Mists visits The Queen’s Gallery

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 11.18.00A special book group event will be held at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace on Tuesday 15th September 2015

Spend an evening with author Lynda Waterhouse for a discussion of art and literature inspired by Tan Twan Eng’s atmospheric novel The Garden of Evening Mists. The novel tells a story of one woman’s struggle to create a Japanese garden in the beautiful highlands of Malaya.

This book club will include a special exhibition tour of Painting Paradise: The Art of the Garden by curator Sally Goodsir and a complimentary glass of wine.

For more details of the event, and to book your ticket, please click on the link here.

Laura Purcell kickstarts her author tour

Laura PicLaura Purcell started her author tour last weekend with a successful visit to Waterstones in Bury St Edmunds.

Laura is promoting her latest novel, Mistress of the Court, which tells the story of two remarkable women at the centre of George II’s reign.

“Laura Purcell is a wonderful storyteller, and Mistress of the Court a fabulous Georgian read!”

Lucinda Brant, NY Times bestselling author of Georgian romances and mysteries

Her first novel in the series, Queen of Bedlam, was shortlisted for Best Historical Romance 2014 and was Editor’s Pick, in Historical Novels Review.

If you didn’t get chance to see Laura over the weekend then not to worry as she’ll be continuing her tour next weekend.

Here are her remaining tour dates:

Saturday 15th August from 12 till 1 at Colchester Waterstones

Saturday 29th August from 11:30 till 1 at Chelmsford Waterstones

Saturday 3rd October from 11 till 1 at Lowestoft Waterstones

Summer Reading

MagExcellent to see two of Myrmidon’s latest releases in this month’s issue of Book Time: a free magazine from Bertrams that is distributed to indie bookshops throughout the UK.

Both The Horse Changer and Mistress of the Court are picked as some of this year’s hottest  summer reads. If you like your historical fiction then you can’t go wrong with either of these two enthralling and well-researched novels.


Tan Twan Eng: What Malaysia means to me

Twan IMG_2492-03Tan Twan Eng, author of The Gift of Rain and The Garden of Evening Mists, appears in the Malaysian edition of Elle magazine (August 2015).

Five acclaimed writers share with Elle readers just exactly what Malaysia means to them. For Twan, it was the small things in life that he remembers with clarity. The kindness of his mother, and the gratefulness of those less fortunate than himself, come across in this short piece of reminiscence.

‘… perhaps, every day all over KL, all over our country, people are doing such similar acts of unsolicited kindnesses, these small things, for complete strangers.’ 

If you’d like to read the full piece from Elle then please click here.


How history informs fiction

tigerhuntThe Japanese character in this picture is typical of many Japanese in Malaya before the surprise Japanese invasion like the characters Aritomo and Endo in Tan Twan Eng’s books The Garden of Evening Mists and The Gift of Rain – performing all manner of seemingly innocuous roles while secretly spying for their country.
This was one of the factors leading to the rapid sweep of Japanese forces down through the jungles and plantations of the peninsula and the swift capture of Singapore.
The Malaya campaign and its ferocity is captured in the forthcoming illustrated autobiography from Myrmidon: And the Dawn Came Up Like Thunder, a republished work by war artist and prisoner of war, the late Leo Rawlings. This revised edition contains over 160 illustrations, many of which are published in full colour for the first time.
For more information about this book please click here. Or to pre-order your copy, please click here.


Deaf, peevish old beast – Laura Purcell discusses her latest heroine

Henrietta_HowardAhead of the release of Laura’s forthcoming novel, Mistress of the Court, she gives an insight into the life of her book’s heroine, Henrietta Howard, and the affliction that haunted her life.

Laura discusses Henrietta’s deafness and how it was perceived by those in her court, and by those closest to her.

To read Laura’s full blog post please click here: http://laurapurcell.com/. You’ll also find an extra treat towards the end of Laura’s blog as she includes an extra snippet that she wrote to help her explore the life of her character in more depth.

Mistress of the Court will be published on August 4th 2015 and can be pre-ordered here.

Fancy a free copy? We’re giving away 20 copies of this extraordinary book via Goodreads. Please click here: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/144353-mistress-of-the-court to enter the giveaway competition.