He was also previously longlisted for the 2007 Man Booker award for his debut novel, The Gift of Rain.“As intricately designed as a Japanese garden, this deceptively quiet novel resonates with the power to inspire a variety of passionate emotions. Reflecting back on her life as a neurological disease threatens to erase her memories, retired Chinese-Malaysian judge Teoh Yun Ling reveals, layer by layer, the horrors she and her sister experienced during the war when they were interred in a Japanese slave-labor camp.
As the sisters attempt to mentally escape by immersing themselves in intricate recollections of the Japanese gardens they once visited, the brutality of their reality increases daily. After the war, Yun Ling appeals to Nakamura Aritomo, the exiled former gardener to the emperor of Japan to design a garden in her sister’s memory. Instead, she becomes Aritomo’s apprentice and eventually his lover. It is many years before all of her own secrets and those of Aritomo are revealed, for nothing is as simple as it initially appears in the Garden of Evening Mists. A haunting novel certain to stay with the reader long after the book is closed.” – Booklist
The other shortlisted novels are: