Author(s): Tash Aw
Set in Malaysia in the 1930s and 40s, with the rumbling of the Second World War in the background and the Japanese about to invade, The Harmony Silk Factory is the story of four people: Johnny, an infamous Chinaman a salesman, a fraudster, possibly a murderer whose shop house, The Harmony Silk Factory, he uses as a front for his illegal businesses; Snow Soong, the beautiful daughter of one of the Kinta Valleys most prominent families, who dies giving birth to one of the novels narrators; Kunichika, a Japanese officer who loves Snow too; and an Englishman, Peter Wormwood, who went to Malaysia like many English but never came back, who also loved Snow to the end of his life. A journey the four of them take into the jungle has a devastating effect on all of them, and brilliantly exposes the cultural tensions of the era. Haunting, highly original, The Harmony Silk Factory is suspenseful to the last page. Winner of the 2006 Whitbread first novel award. First published 2005. This edition with PS section 2006.