2014-09 Book Club

What: The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twang Eng

When: 24 September, 19:30 – RSVP on Meetup (optional ;))

Where: Bistro Lochergut (tram 2+3 ’Lochergut’)

Synopsis from the Guardian: Self-exiled from imperial Japan after a dispute with his employer Emperor Hirohito, Aritomo settles in the hilltops of Malaya and begins to build Yugiri, a “garden of evening mists”. Into his life comes independent Yun Ling, daughter of a prosperous Chinese Malaysian family, and the sole survivor of a prisoner-of-war camp. It is 1951, and she is a prosecutor of war criminals and a hater of all things Japanese – except one. Her request to Aritomo is simple: build a garden for her sister who perished in the camp, and who loved the gardens of Kyoto. The taciturn Aritomo is not in the habit of pleasing anyone or apologising for his country’s crimes. Instead he offers to teach Yun Ling the art of Japanese gardening, for two years. Almost against herself, she becomes his apprentice, then his lover, and finally, the canvas for his masterpiece: horimono, a full-body Japanese tattoo. The chapters in which this redemptive relationship unfolds through the rich metaphors of gardening, tattooing, tea-ceremonies, and Zen philosophy are the psychological core of the novel.

First suggested: March 2014

Supporter(s): Dominique, Uli, Richie

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