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Tan Twan Eng on The House of Doors with Brandon Taylor

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Tuesday, 7:00 pm EDT October 17, 2023

The Center for Fiction
& Livestreamed

The Ticket/Voucher option includes a $10 Bookstore voucher, redeemable toward the featured event book on the night of the event.

Join us for a very special evening with Tan Twan Eng, celebrated author of The Gift of Rain and The Garden of Evening Mists, in conversation with Brandon Taylor (Real Life, The Late Americans) about Tan’s latest novel, The House of Doors. This recently announced Booker Longlist title is a masterpiece of historical fiction about William Somerset Maugham’s time in Malaysia and his entanglement with a mysterious couple staying with him at the Cassowary House. The great novelist’s career and fortunes are both in decline, and his ability to lead a double life—married to a woman, in love with his secretary, Gerald—depends on his ability to find the subject for a new novel. Tan and Taylor will discuss the novel’s themes of colonialism, revolution, storytelling, and redemption, as well as crafting historical fiction and writing on famous writers. After the conversation, Tan will sign and personalize books.


In Conversation

  • Tan Twan Eng

    Tan Twan Eng

    Tan Twan Eng

    Tan Twan Eng was born in Penang but lived in various places in Malaysia as a child. He studied law through the University of London, and later worked as an advocate and solicitor in one of Kuala Lumpur’s most reputable law firms. His first novel, The Gift of Rain, was longlisted for the Man Booker in 2007. His second, The Garden of Evening Mists was a major international bestseller, shortlisted for the Man Booker in 2012 and winner of the Man Asia Literary Prize 2012 and the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction. It was adapted into an award-winning film in 2019 that was directed by Tom Lin. Twan divides his time between Malaysia and South Africa.

    Photo Credit: Lloyd Smith

  • Brandon Taylor (c) Haolun Xu (1) - Eliana Cohen-Orth

    Brandon Taylor

    Brandon Taylor

    Brandon Taylor is the author of the novels The Late Americans and Real Life, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, and named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and a Science + Literature Selected Title by the National Book Foundation. His collection Filthy Animals, a national bestseller, was awarded The Story Prize and shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. He is the 2022-2023 Mary Ellen von der Heyden Fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.

    Photo Credit: Haolun Xu