Strangers on a Pier: Portrait of a Family
‘So wise and so well done. It made me wish it were much longer than it is’ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
From the award-winning author of Five Star Billionaire and We, The Survivors comes a whirlwind personal history of modern Asia, as told through his Malaysian and Chinese heritage.
If we are lucky we will find writing that grips us with its vitality, beauty and significance - Strangers on a Pier is like that’ Deborah Levy
In 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.
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