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AW - Tash Aw Archive

Reference code
Level of description
Tash Aw Archive
Quantity & Format
3 boxes Mixed
Authors, Malaysian -- 20th century
Aw, Tash
Administrative/Biographical history
Born in Taipei, Taiwan, to Malaysian parents of Chinese descent, Tash Aw grew up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with short spells in Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia. He had a multilingual upbringing, speaking Malay, Mandarin, Cantonese and English during his youth. He came to England in his teens and later studied law at Jesus College, Cambridge and at the University of Warwick before moving to London to write. After graduating he worked at a number of jobs, including as a lawyer for four years while writing his debut novel, which he completed during the creative writing course at the University of East Anglia. He commenced the course in the Autumn of 2002 and the draft manuscript of 'The Harmony Silk Factory' was completed in September 2003 and published in 2005. The novel was longlisted for the 2005 Man Booker Prize and won the 2005 Whitbread Book Awards First Novel Award as well as the 2005 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Novel (Asia Pacific region). It also made it to the long-list of the world's prestigious 2007 International Impac Dublin Award and the Guardian First Book Prize. It has thus far been translated into twenty languages. Aw cites his literary influences as Joseph Conrad, Vladimir Nabokov, Anthony Burgess, William Faulkner and Gustave Flaubert.

His second novel, titled 'Map of the Invisible World', was released in May 2009 to critical acclaim, with Time Magazine calling it "a complex, gripping drama of private relationships" and describing "Aw's matchless descriptive prose; immense intelligence and empathy." His 2013 novel 'Five Star Billionaire' was longlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize. His work of non-fiction 'The Face: Strangers on a Pier' was published in 2016 and became a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize.

His work has won an O. Henry Prize and been published in The New Yorker, the London Review of Books, A Public Space and the landmark Granta 100, amongst others. He is also a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
This collection has been loaned to the BACW by the creator. Box one was delivered in April 2015; a further two boxes followed. In December 2020, Aw deposited a further box of material relating to 'We the Survivors'.
Scope and content
Typescripts, editorial comments and correspondence, agent and publishers’ correspondence, short stories (published and unpublished), markups of published reviews, one artwork.
Conditions governing access
Available for private, non-commercial research.
Conditions governing reproduction
Relevant copyright permissions must be obtained before any reproductions of documents can be made. The University of East Anglia does not hold copyrights for any material in this collection. Please address all copyright enquiries to Tash Aw or Wiley Agency (Aw’s Literary Agent).
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