- About the Author
Gardens are magical places — images of Nature and Culture, models of paradise, spaces where plants live in war and peace, co-operation and competition. It is 1942 and Singapore is Syonanto, part of the Japanese Empire, where violence and starvation stalk the streets but in the Singapore Botanic Gardens a bizarre tranquillity reigns between warring nations and even love awakes as old identities melt away in the heady atmosphere of the Orchid House. From its unique perspective and with a mixture of humour and romance, The Devil's Garden pictures a formative moment in the emergence of Singapore, where loyalties are less secure than those of the official histories and truth is anything but simple. Love and war in Singapore under the Japanese flag.
Nigel Barley was born in Kingston upon Thames in 1947. He gained his bachelor's degree in modern languages at Cambridge University, and his doctorate in social anthropology at Oxford University. He worked for some years as an academic at London University and then served from 1980 to 2003 as an assistant keeper of Ethnography at the British Museum.
Barley's first travel book, The Innocent Anthropologist (1983), gave a popular account of anthropological fieldwork among the Dowayo people of Cameroon. Barley then worked as an anthropologist in Indonesia. His first book based on his time there was the humorous Not a Hazardous Sport (1989) describing his anthropological experiences in Tana Toraja in the mountains of central Sulawesi.
Barley has written on many other subjects including Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, and Sir James Brooke, the "white rajah" of Sarawak. He has been twice nominated for the Travelex Writer of the Year Award. In 2002, he won the Foreign Press Association prize for travel writing.
Cover Type: Paperback
Page Count: 256
Year Published: 2013