Tan Twan Eng on NPT's A Word on Words

The House of Doors – Tan Twan Eng

Tan Twan Eng talks with Jeremy Finley about his book THE HOUSE OF DOORS.

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Welcome to Nashville Public Television’s latest episode of A Word on Words. Join us as author Tan Twan Eng discusses his captivating novel, The House of Doors, with host Jeremy Finley. Through their insightful conversation, we delve into the intricate process of storytelling and the remarkable journey of creation.

“Somebody told me once that when we share meals with strangers we become closer. But, I think, when we share stories that’s when we really understand each other. Now, sharing meals warms our stomachs, but sharing stories warms our hearts.”

Tan Twan Eng, Author

Tan Twan Eng, renowned for his elegant prose and bold narratives, introduces us to the heart of The House of Doors. At its core, the novel explores the profound impact of storytelling, how tales evolve as they pass from one person to another, and how they transform across time.

Eng’s choice to craft a work of fiction around the real-life novelist Somerset Maugham is indeed bold. He reveals the challenges he faced in staying true to Maugham’s character while navigating the constraints imposed by historical accuracy. Through meticulous research and an unwavering commitment to authenticity, Eng brings Maugham’s captivating story to life on the page.

During their conversation, Eng and Finley explore the complexities of Maugham’s life, including his struggles with identity, his marriage of convenience, and the societal constraints he faced due to his sexuality. Eng’s deep understanding of Maugham’s life and his ability to humanize the novelist shines through as he discusses the personal and professional challenges Maugham encountered.

Eng also intertwines themes of love, murder, and societal expectations into the narrative, creating a rich tapestry of emotions and experiences. Through the characters of Leslie and her friend Ethel, Eng examines the limitations imposed on individuals, particularly women, in pursuing love and fulfillment in a society bound by rigid norms.

The conversation extends to Eng’s own writing process, highlighting the struggles and joys of crafting a novel. From the initial spark of inspiration to the countless hours spent rewriting and refining, Eng offers valuable insights for aspiring writers.

Eng reflects on the power of storytelling to foster understanding and connection among individuals. He eloquently articulates, “Sharing stories warms our hearts,” emphasizing the profound impact of narrative on human experience.

Join us as we celebrate the enduring power of literature to illuminate the human condition and unite us in shared experiences in this episode of NPT’s A Word on Words.

Thank you for visiting, and remember, #keepreading.

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