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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Malaysian author Tan Twan Eng wins 2013 Walter Scott Prize

Malaysian author Tan Twan Eng has won the 2013 Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction for his second novel The Garden of Evening Mists.

Eng is the first overseas writer to win the £25,000 prize after a new rule was introduced last year making books by writers from Commonwealth countries eligible for the prize, named after the Scottish author widely considered the originator of historical fiction. 

The Garden of Evening Mists, which also won the 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize, is set in Malaya in the troubled years after World War II with judges describing it as "pungent and atmospheric; a rich, enigmatic, layered novel in which landscapes part and merge, and part again."

"The poignancy of both remembering and forgetting is what this book is all about."

Eng's book was up against a formidable list of books, including Hilary Mantel's 'Bring up the Bodies', which has already won some of Britain's most prestigious literary awards, and novels by English authors Rose Tremain, Pat Barker and Anthony Quinn.

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