The Night Tiger
A sweeping historical novel about a dancehall girl and an orphan boy whose fates entangle over an old Chinese superstition about men who turn into tigers.
Quick-witted, ambitious Ji Lin is stuck as an apprentice dressmaker, moonlighting as a dancehall girl to help pay off her mother’s mahjong debts. But when one of her dance partners accidentally leaves behind a gruesome souvenir, Ji Lin plunges into a dark adventure: a mirror world of secrets and superstitions. Eleven-year-old Chinese houseboy Ren also has a secret, a promise he must fulfill to his dead master: to find his master’s severed finger and bury it with his body. Ren has 49 days to do so, or his master’s soul will wander the earth forever.
As the days tick relentlessly by, a series of unexplained deaths wrack the district, along with whispers of men who turn into tigers. Ji Lin and Ren’s increasingly dangerous paths crisscross through lush plantations, hospital storage rooms, and ghostly dreamscapes. Dazzling and propulsive, The Night Tiger is the intimate coming of age of a child and a young woman, each searching for their place in a society that would rather they stay invisible.
A Most Anticipated Book (Real Simple, Parade, BookPage, Goodreads, PopSugar, BookRiot, Refinery29, Tor.com)
An Amazon Best Book of February 2019: The Night Tiger is supple and powerful, like the predator that stalks the shadows of Choo’s ensnaring tale. –Adrian Liang, Amazon Book Review
USA Today lists it first among 5 books not to miss this week.
“This is the kind of book that when you read it, you really are transported back to that time and place… [Choo has] captured, in a very atmospheric way, the time period and the superstitions [of colonial Malaysia in the 1930s]. It’s a pretty wonderful book.” ―Nancy Pearl, NPR’s Morning Edition
“Fans of Isabel Allende will likely soar through Yangsze Choo’s The Night Tiger at a breakneck pace, so you might want to clear your schedule before sitting down to read it.” ―PopSugar
“So engrossing you could spend a day reading this lush historical novel without staring at your phone once… A sweeping novel with something for everyone ― and incredible writing.” ―Refinery29
“A sumptuous garden maze of a novel that immerses readers in a complex, vanished world…Choo weaves her research in with a feather-light touch, and readers will be so caught up in the natural and supernatural intrigue that the serious themes here about colonialism and power dynamics, about gender and class, are absorbed with equal delicacy.” ―Kirkus (starred review)
“A work of incredible beauty…Astoundingly captivating and striking in its portrayal of love, betrayal, and death, The Night Tiger is a transcendent story of courage and connection.” ―Booklist (starred review)
“Mythical creatures, conversations with the dead, lucky numbers, Confucian virtues, and forbidden love provide the backdrop to Choo’s superb murder mystery. Mining the rich setting of colonial Malaysia, Choo wonderfully combines a Holmes-esque plot with Chinese lore.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed review)
“[Choo] presents complex characters and multilayered stories in a vivid setting that coalesce into a richly evocative and mesmerizing tale in which myths and folklore intertwine in daily life. For fans of Kate Mosse or Isabel Allende.” ―Library Journal
“Complex, ambitious…a little bit magical.” ―Shelf Awareness