Conrad, Maugham, and Burgess have shaped our perceptions of Malaysia. Now, with The Harmony Silk Factory, we have an authentic Malaysian voice that remaps this literary landscape. Through his examination of a mysterious and larger than life character-hero or traitor?-Tash Aw gives us an exquisitely written look into another culture at a moment of crisis.
"Via Aw's fast-moving prose and shimmering dialogue, which has an odd, affecting noirish manner, three different accounts of Johnny Lim and varying views of historic and personal reality unfold while the Japanese invade, the Communist Party gathers momentum, and alliances are made and broken." - Booklist.
"The most boisterous and enjoyable thread of this story belongs to Peter, with whose chipper English patter Aw, oddly enough, seems most at home." - Publishers Weekly.
"Atmospherics substitute for credible characterization in this Malaysian writer's sluggish, awkward account of a man's many selves." - Kirkus Reviews.
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Tash Aw was born in Taipei to Malaysian-Chinese parents and grew up in Kuala Lumpar. He moved to England at 18 to attend university, where he studied Law at Cambridge and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia.
He first began work on The Harmony Silk Factory (2005) in the evenings and at weekends until, in 2002, he left his job as a lawyer to work on the novel full time. It was finished a year later, nearly five years after he began the book.
The Harmony Silk Factory won the 2005 Whitbread First Novel Award and a Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Novel, as well as being long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. Tash Aw is now a full time writer. His second novel Map of the Invisible World, set in post independence Malaysia and Indonesia, was published in the UK...
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