Tash Aw's highly original first novel juxtaposes three accounts of the life of an enigmatic man at a pivotal and haunting moment in Malaysian history.
The Harmony Silk Factory is the textiles store run by Johnny Lim, a Chinese peasant living in rural Malay in the first half of the twentieth century. It is the most impressive and truly amazing structure in the region, and to the inhabitants of the Kinta Valley Johnny Lim is a hero-a Communist who fought the Japanese when they invaded, ready to sacrifice his life for the welfare of his people. But to his son, Jasper, Johnny is a crook and a collaborator who betrayed the very people he pretended to serve, and the Harmony Silk Factory is merely a front for his father's illegal businesses. Centering on Johnny from three perspectives-those of his grown son; his wife, Snow, the most beautiful woman in the Kinta Valley (through her diary entries); and his best and only friend, an Englishman adrift named Peter Wormwood-the novel reveals the difficulty of knowing another human being, and how our assumptions about others also determine who we are.
Joseph Conrad, W. Somerset Maugham, and Anthony 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 this examination of a compelling, mysterious, and larger-than-life character, Tash Aw gives us an exquisitely written look into another culture at a moment of crisis.
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Tash Aw was born in Taipei and brought up in Malaysia. He moved to England in his teens. This is his first novel.From Publishers Weekly :
Aw slices his first novel into three segments, wherein three characters dissect the nature of Johnny Lim, a controversial figure in 1940s Malaysia. Depending on the teller, Johnny was a Communist leader, an informer for the Japanese, a dangerous black-market trader, a working-class Chinese man too in awe of his aristocratic wife to have sex with her, or a loyal friend. Long after Johnny's death, we hear these conflicting accounts from his grown son, Jasper; his wife, Snow (through the lens of her 1941 diary); and his English expatriate friend, Peter Wormwood. The chief benefit of this structural trick is to make palpable the limitations of each character's perspective, and that's no mean feat. But Aw's prose, though often witty and taut, is not equally convincing in all its guises. Jasper is the typical alienated son who burns to discover all the crimes his father committed; this also makes him the typical unreliable narrator (when his father kills a mosquito that had bitten him, Jasper cites this as proof of an innate "streak of malice"). When Snow takes over, Johnny suddenly resembles a more ordinary man, while she—adored by her son, whose birth caused her death—reveals herself to be a fallible character and an unfaithful wife. The most boisterous and enjoyable thread of this story belongs to Peter, with whose chipper English patter Aw, oddly enough, seems most at home.
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Description du livre Riverhead Hardcover, 2005. Hardcover. État : New. First Edition. NEW and UNREAD hardcover with DJ, from bookstore stock. May contain a price sticker.; 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed! Ships same or next business day!. N° de réf. du libraire 121702220008
Description du livre Riverhead Hardcover, 2005. Hardcover. État : New. book. N° de réf. du libraire 157322300X
Description du livre Riverhead Hardcover, 2005. Hardcover. État : New. N° de réf. du libraire P11157322300X
Description du livre Riverhead Hardcover. Hardcover. État : New. 157322300X New Condition. N° de réf. du libraire NEW6.1831641