Set in Malaya during World War II, Tan Twan Eng’s coming-of-age novel is a powerful story of divided loyalties, moral dilemmas and human courage.

Malaya, 1939. Sixteen-year-old Philip is of mixed British and Chinese heritage, and feels alienated from both communities. He forms an unexpected friendship with Hayato Endo, a Japanese diplomat who trains him in Aikido. But when the Japanese invade, Philip discovers Endo is a spy. Forced into collaborating with the Japanese to safeguard his family he becomes the ultimate outsider, trusted by none and hated by many. A tormented Philip decides to risk everything to make amends.

The Man Booker Prize 2007
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Tan Twan Eng

Tan Twan Eng

About the Author

Tan Twan Eng was born in Penang, Malaysia, and worked as an advocate in one of Kuala Lumpur's leading law firms before becoming a full-time writer.
More about Tan Twan Eng

Other nominated books by Twan Eng Tan

The House of Doors by Tan Twan Eng
The Garden of Evening Mists