The polyglot Tash Aw - he speaks Malay, Mandarin, Cantonese and English - was unsatisfied with how south-east Asia was portrayed in Western literature so he set out to show its complexities.

Born in Taiwan, raised in Malaysia and educated in England, Aw attended the University of East Anglia’s celebrated creative writing school and subsidised his nascent career by working as an auction-house porter, a paralegal in a law firm and a Chinese language tutor. His literary examinations of the changes in his home region over the past 100 years or so have earned him the (occasional) moniker of the ‘Malaysian Graham Greene’. His Booker prize nomination for The Harmony Silk Factory, his debut novel, was followed by a second in 2013 for Five Star Billionaire.

Tash Aw

All nominated books

The Harmony Silk Factory
Five Star Billionaire