The Harmony Silk Factory
Joseph Conrad, W. Somerset Maugham, and Anthony Burgess have shaped our perceptions of Malaysia. In Tash Aw, we now have an authentic Malaysian voice that remaps this literary landscape. The Harmony Silk Factory traces the story of textile merchant Johnny Lim, a Chinese peasant living... show more
Joseph Conrad, W. Somerset Maugham, and Anthony Burgess have shaped our perceptions of Malaysia. In Tash Aw, we now have an authentic Malaysian voice that remaps this literary landscape. The Harmony Silk Factory traces the story of textile merchant Johnny Lim, a Chinese peasant living in British Malaya in the first half of the twentieth century. Johnny's factory is the most impressive structure in the region, and to the inhabitants of the Kinta Valley Johnny 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. This debut novel from Tash Aw gives us an exquisitely written look into another culture at a moment of crisis. The Harmony Silk Factory won the 2005 Whitbread First Novel Award and also made it to the 2005 Man Booker longlist.
Publish date: February 7th 2006
Publisher: Riverhead Trade
Pages no: 416
Edition language: English
, Book Club
, Historical Fiction
, Literary Fiction
, Asian Literature
Memories are things to be buried. They die, just as people do, and with their passing, all traces of the life they once touched are erased, for ever and completely. Despite my initial misgivings about the book and despite the fact that the book suffered from the pressures of "having to read it" for...
The Harmony Silk Factory is a narrative dealing primarily with Malaysia prior to the Second World War (also briefly discussing the situation during and after the war), as narrated by three distinct characters. The first section, narrated by Jasper, the son of the infamous Johnny Lim (possibly the pr...
Malaysia.Aw's first novel is an extended study of one man, Johnny Lim. Stories about Johnny are told by three narrators in three sections. Each has a complex emotional relationship with Johnny. His disaffected son, eager to expose his father's crimes; his wife Snow, whose diary reveals a more tentat...