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The Harmony Silk Factory

by Tash Aw

A young man's search to understand his father leads back to the last days of British Imperial rule, communist insurrection and the Japanese invasion of Malaysia; illuminating the cultural tensions of the time. The story is woven around a metaphor of an English garden lost in the jumgle. If you enjoy your storytelling straightforward, be prepared for multiple narators, but it does give the feel of piecing the mystery together.

Extract

Some people are born with a streak of malice running through them. It poisons their blood forever .... It may lurk unnoticed for many years surfacing only occasionally. Good times may temporarily suppress these instincts, and the person may appear well intentioned and honest. Sooner or later, however, the cold hatred wins over. It is an incurable condition.

I can pinpoint the exact moment when I knew for certain that my father was afflicted with this terrible disease ...

Parallels

Wild Swans by Jung Chang
Burmese Days by George Orwell
 

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