Virtual Event: Rachel Heng


The Great Reclamation: A Novel

in conversation with MENG JIN


April 3, 2023
7:00 PM ET


Join this virtual event by purchasing a ticket through Eventbrite


$0.00 (Free RSVP Required) $34.00 (Book Included)

Harvard Book Store joins Books and Books and Politics and Prose in welcoming RACHEL HENG—author of Suicide Club—for a discussion of her new novel The Great Reclamation. She will be joined in conversation by MENG JIN—author of Little Gods.


There are two ticket options available for this event.  A link and instructions to access the virtual event on Crowdcast will be sent with the ticket confirmation. Books will be shipped after the virtual event. Please note: we are unable to ship outside of the United States.

Book-Included Ticket: Includes an admission link for one to the virtual event and one hardcover copy of The Great Reclamation

Admission-Only Ticket: Includes an admission link for one.


About The Great Reclamation

Ah Boon is born into a fishing village amid the heat and beauty of twentieth-century coastal Singapore in the waning years of British rule. He is a gentle boy who is not much interested in fishing, preferring to spend his days playing with the neighbor girl, Siok Mei. But when he discovers he has the unique ability to locate bountiful, movable islands that no one else can find, he feels a new sense of obligation and possibility—something to offer the community and impress the spirited girl he has come to love.

By the time they are teens, Ah Boon and Siok Mei are caught in the tragic sweep of history: the Japanese army invades, the resistance rises, grief intrudes, and the future of the fishing village is in jeopardy. As the nation hurtles toward rebirth, the two friends, newly empowered, must decide who they want to be, and what they are willing to give up.

An aching love story and powerful coming-of-age that reckons with the legacy of British colonialism, the World War II Japanese occupation, and the pursuit of modernity, The Great Reclamation confronts the wounds of progress, the sacrifices of love, and the difficulty of defining home when nature and nation collide, literally shifting the land beneath people’s feet.

Praise for The Great Reclamation

“A gorgeous novel about love, fate, free-will, and how, in wartime, one person’s choices can have long-lasting consequences. The Great Reclamation is as sweeping as it is specific. Ah Boon’s story will stay with me for a long time." —Lara Prescott, New York Times bestselling author of The Secrets We Kept

"Gorgeously written and compulsively readable, The Great Reclamation is both an intimate love story and an epic historical tale that is sure to be read for years to come. Heng’s writing is full of rich, sensuous detail—mysteriously appearing islands, the smell of rain on hot monsoon evenings, the fierce burn of a rubber seed when pressed against the skin—that mesmerizes on every page. She deals with difficult questions—who, and what, are we willing to sacrifice in the name of progress?—while never losing sight of the complex humanity of her characters." —Julie Otsuka, author of The Buddha in the Attic

The Great Reclamation is an extraordinary achievement - an epic love story set in a world at war within and without itself.  Every page pulses with mud and magic. I loved it.” —Miranda Cowley Heller, author of The Paper Palace

Meng Jin
Meng Jin

Meng Jin

Meng Jin is the author of the novel Little Gods, and the short story collection Self-Portrait with Ghost. Her short fiction has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize anthology. She is currently a Visiting Lecturer in Creative Writing at Harvard University. 

Photo credit: Andrea Lo

Rachel Heng
Rachel Heng

Rachel Heng

Born and raised in Singapore, Rachel Heng is the author of the novel Suicide Club, translated into ten languages. Her short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Glimmer Train, McSweeney’s, and elsewhere. She received her MFA from the Michener Center for Writers and has received grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the National Arts Council of Singapore, among others. She is currently an assistant professor of English at Wesleyan University.

Photo credit: Juliana Tan


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