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Tash Aw is a recent graduate of UEA. He is Malaysian by birth but now lives in London. The Harmony Silk Factory is his first novel.
Longlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize, the overlapping lives of five newcomers to China's most dynamic city are the subject of this kaleidoscopic novel. Welcome to Shanghai. A restless metropolis where old traditions collide with new ambitions - a place where anything can happen and anyone can become Somebody. Golddigger, property magnate, pop star, entrepreneur and guru: five newcomers are lured by the promise of making fortunes and remaking identities. But they find their lives converging in unpredictable ways, as the Five Star Billionaire's lessons for success wreak havoc. For in a land where dreams may come true, nothing is ever quite as it seems...
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013. Justin is from a family of successful property developers. Phoebe has come to China buoyed with hope, but her dreams are shattered within hours as the job she has come for seems never to have existed. Gary is a successful pop artist, but his fans and marketing machine disappear after a bar-room brawl. Yinghui has businesses that are going well but must make decisions about her life. And then there is Walter, the shadowy billionaire, ruthless and manipulative, ultimately alone in the world. In 'Five Star Billionaire', Tash Aw charts the weave of their journeys in the new China, counterpointing their adventures with the old life they have left behind in Malaysia.
April 2010 Book of the Month. It has been five years since we had a new Tash Aw and the wait has been worth it. This is a lovely book (although in my opinion the ending tailed off) of the lives of brothers separated by adoption, one to follow a privileged path, the other poverty. It is set in Indonesia amid political turmoil and bloody conflict. Big in scope and colour.
Category Winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award 2005 and shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. The story of a mysterious man, Johnny Lim. I say mysterious for we get three different narratives relating parts of his life that illustrate very different men, all Johnny, and so it shows us how we bend or interpret the truth. Here we never really discover what that is but in the tales we get a large amount of history of Malaysia. A wonderful, fascinating, beautifully written first novel. Comparison: Rani Manicka, Nadeem Aslam, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.