The House of Doors (Paperback)

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LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE
LONGLISTED FOR THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE FOR HISTORICAL FICTION
INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
A NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS' CHOICE
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORKER, NPR, SLATE, THE FINANCIAL TIMES, AND A WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE WORK


From the bestselling author of The Garden of Evening Mists, a spellbinding novel about love and betrayal, colonialism and revolution, storytelling and redemption.

The year is 1921. Lesley Hamlyn and her husband, Robert, a lawyer and war veteran, are living at Cassowary House on the Straits Settlement of Penang. When “Willie” Somerset Maugham, a famed writer and old friend of Robert's, arrives for an extended visit with his secretary Gerald, the pair threatens a rift that could alter more lives than one.

Maugham, one of the great novelists of his day, is beleaguered: Having long hidden his homosexuality, his unhappy and expensive marriage of convenience becomes unbearable after he loses his savings-and the freedom to travel with Gerald. His career deflating, his health failing, Maugham arrives at Cassowary House in desperate need of a subject for his next book. Lesley, too, is enduring a marriage more duplicitous than it first appears. Maugham suspects an affair, and, learning of Lesley's past connection to the Chinese revolutionary, Dr. Sun Yat Sen, decides to probe deeper. But as their friendship grows and Lesley confides in him about life in the Straits, Maugham discovers a far more surprising tale than he imagined, one that involves not only war and scandal but the trial of an Englishwoman charged with murder. It is, to Maugham, a story worthy of fiction.

A mesmerizingly beautiful novel based on real events, The House of Doors traces the fault lines of race, gender, sexuality, and power under empire, and dives deep into the complicated nature of love and friendship in its shadow.

About the Author


Tan Twan Eng was born in Penang and lived in various places in Malaysia as a child. His first novel, The Gift of Rain, was longlisted for the Man Booker. His second, The Garden of Evening Mists, was a major international bestseller, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and winner of the Man Asia Literary Prize and the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. It was adapted into an award-winning film in 2019 that was directed by Tom Lin. Tan divides his time between Malaysia and South Africa.

Praise For…


The House of Doors is brilliantly observed and full of memorable characters. It is so well-written, everything so effortlessly dramatized, the narrative so well structured and paced, that this is a book that will mesmerize readers far into the future.” —Colm Tóibín, author of THE MAGICIAN

“This is historical fiction at its best. . . The House of Doors is immersive, transporting, and exquisitely crafted.” —Cristina Henríquez, author of THE BOOK OF UNKNOWN AMERICANS

“Exquisite . . . Tan takes on a behemoth task here: combining sensational fact and intimate fiction . . . [He] succeeds in delivering another intricate literary gift.” —Booklist, Starred Review



Product Details
ISBN: 9781639734672
ISBN-10: 1639734678
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date: October 1st, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English