The Face: Strangers on a Pier
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From the the award-winning author of Five Star Billionaire and The Harmony Silk Factory comes a whirlwind personal history of modern Asia, as told through his Malaysian and Chinese heritage.
In The Face: Strangers on a Pier, acclaimed author Tash Aw explores the panoramic cultural vitality of modern Asia through his own complicated family story of migration and adaptation, which is reflected in his own face. From a taxi ride in present-day Bangkok, to eating Kentucky Fried Chicken in 1980s Kuala Lumpur, to his grandfathers’ treacherous boat journeys to Malaysia from mainland China in the 1920s, Aw weaves together stories of insiders and outsiders, images from rural villages to megacity night clubs, and voices in a dizzying variety of languages, dialects, and slangs, to create an intricate and astoundingly vivid portrait of a place caught between the fast-approaching future and a past that won’t let go.
Aw’s essay is part of a groundbreaking new series from Restless Books called The Face, in which a diverse group of writers takes readers on a guided tour of that most intimate terrain: their own faces.
Praise for Tash Aw
“Mr. Aw is a patient writer, and an elegant one. His supple yet unshowy prose can resemble Kazuo Ishiguro's.… He's a writer to watch.
—Dwight Garner, The New York Times
“Tash Aw is an essential voice for the global world we live in today.
—Yiyun Li, author ofGold Boy, Emerald Girl
"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, The Guardian
“Aw is a writer of great power and delicacy, as able to conjure stampeding crowds as the glow of fireflies….Skilled and sensitive.”
“What a storyteller Tash Aw is.
"This young writer has come to us fully formed, and with the promise of a long and significant career.”
About the Author
Born in Taipei to Malaysian parents,Tash Aw grew up in Kuala Lumpur before moving to Britain to attend university. He is the author of three critically acclaimed novels, The Harmony Silk Factory (2005), Map of the Invisible World (2009), and Five Star Billionaire (2013), which have won the Whitbread First Novel Award, a regional Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and twice been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize; they have also been translated into twenty-three languages. His short fiction has won an O. Henry Prize and been published in A Public Space and the landmark Granta 100, amongst others.