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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.
From the author of the internationally acclaimed, Whitbread Award-winning 'The Harmony Silk Factory' comes an enthralling new novel that evokes an exotic yet turbulent and often frightening world. 16-year-old Adam is an orphan three times over. He and his older brother, Johan, were abandoned by their mother as children; he watched as Johan was adopted and taken away by a wealthy couple; and he had to hide when Karl, the Dutch man who raised him, was arrested by soldiers during Sukarno's drive to purge 1960s Indonesia of its colonial past. Adam sets out on a quest to find Karl, but all he has to guide him are some old photos and letters, which send him to the colourful, dangerous capital, Jakarta. Johan, meanwhile, is living a seemingly carefree, privileged life in Malaysia, but is careening out of control, unable to forget the long-ago betrayal of his helpless, trusting brother. 'Map of the Invisible World' is a masterful novel, and confirms Tash Aw as one of the most exciting young writers at work today.
'Aw's first novel was a sublime piece of work that Doris Lessing called unputdownable . She will find this one similarly mesmerising!This is absolutely stunning writing - Aw is emerging as a master storyteller.'
'Aw's prose can be powerful and mesmerising in its sense of place...and psychological acuity. Haunting and memorable.'
Maya Jaggi, Guardian
'Aw is a writer of great power and delicacy, as able to conjure stampeding crowds as the glow of fireflies.'
'Aw's sinuous writing vividly brings the turbulent social backdrop to life.'
'His prose is vividly lyrical; and one can almost feel the heat and smell the sweat of Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.'
'Buoyant, limber, confidently told!a book embodying huge ambition, jostling with love, betrayal and guilt, all set poignantly and subtly against the politics of turmoil in post-colonial Indonesia circa 1964.'
'An intelligent second novel!Aw's characteristic tone is a fine lyricism that, at best owes something to Michael Ondaatje or Anne Michaels!Aw has an exceptional talent for set pieces.'
Publication date: 01/04/2010
Publisher: Fourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
|Publication date:||1st April 2010|
|Publisher:||Fourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers|
|Genres:||Books of the Month, eBook Favourites, Literary Fiction, Reading Groups,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
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.More About Tash Aw