Tan Twan Eng wins Man Asian Literary Prize

Tan Twan Eng wins Man Asian Literary Prize

Malaysian writer Tan Twan Eng has won the $30,000 Man Asian Literary Prize for his novel The Garden of Evening Mists, which was last year shortlisted for the UK's Man Booker.

Meanwhile the award organisers have said a new sponsor for the prize will be announced in April, following the withdrawal of Man Group.

The Garden of Evening Mists, set during the aftermath of the Japanese occupation of Malaya, is published in the UK by Myrmidon Books. Myrmidon is collaborating with Canongate on the mass market edition of the book, to be published in May. The author will visit the UK to support publication, including events at Hay on Wye, Asia House and Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights.

Maya Jaggi, chair of the Man Asian judges, said of the novel: "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.

"The layering of historical periods is intricate, the descriptions of highland Malaysia are richly evocative, and the characterisation is both dark and compelling. Guarding its mysteries until the very end, this is a novel of subtle power and redemptive grace."

Tan Twan Eng won on a shortlist that also included Jeet Thayil's Narcopolis and Orhan Pamuk's Silent House (both published in the UK by Faber), as well as Hiromi Kawakami's The Briefcase (Counterpoint) and Musharraf Ali Farooqi's Between Clay and Dust.

Prize organisers are looking for a new sponsor following Man Group's withdrawal from the prize. "Negotiations with interested sponsors are currently ongoing, with an announcement to be made late April 2013," they said.

Sponsorship of the Man Booker prize is unaffected by the change.