LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR AND "e;BOOKPAGE"e;
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An expansive, eye-opening novel that captures the vibrancy of China today
Phoebe is a factory girl who has come to Shanghai with the promise of a job but when she arrives she discovers that the job doesn t exist. Gary is a country boy turned pop star who is spinning out of control. Justin is in Shanghai to expand his family s real estate empire, only to find that he might not be up to the task. He has long harbored a crush on Yinghui, a poetry-loving, left-wing activist who has reinvented herself as a successful Shanghai businesswoman. Yinghui is about to make a deal with the shadowy Walter Chao, the five star billionaire of the novel, who with his secrets and his schemes has a hand in the lives of each of the characters. All bring their dreams and hopes to Shanghai, the shining symbol of the New China, which, like the novel s characters, is constantly in flux and which plays its own fateful role in the lives of its inhabitants.
"e;Five Star Billionaire "e;is a dazzling, kaleidoscopic novel that offers rare insight into the booming world of Shanghai, a city of elusive identities and ever-changing skylines, of grand ambitions and outsize dreams. Bursting with energy, contradictions, and the promise of possibility, Tash Aw s remarkable new book is both poignant and comic, exotic and familiar, cutting-edge and classic, suspenseful and yet beautifully unhurried.
Praise for "e;Five Star Billionaire"e;
Estimable . . . artful . . . Mr. Aw is a patient writer, and an elegant one. His supple yet unshowy prose can resemble Kazuo Ishiguro s. . . . He s a writer to watch. "e;The New York Times"e;
In "e;Five Star Billionaire, "e; the Taiwanese-born, Malaysian writer Tash Aw chooses a refreshingly novel perspective. . . . Through five distinct Malaysian-Chinese voices, Mr. Aw wonderfully expresses the grit and cosmopolitan glamour of Shanghai today. . . . Mr. Aw has done more than merely satirize a social milieu; he has created a cast of compelling characters, all of whom have come to Shanghai to remake themselves, yet are haunted by their pasts in ways that they barely understand. . . . In "e;Five Star Billionaire, "e; Mr. Aw has achieved something remarkable. "e;The Wall Street Journal"e;
Aw s] ever-spiraling web of connections is as improbable as it is entertaining, but he knits his various threads with an elegance . . . coupled with a photorealistic eye for the minutiae of urban life. "e;The Boston Globe"e;
The ambition of the book perfectly reflects its subject. In one scene, we re introduced to a folk guitarist whose slangy lyrics spoke of urban migration and loneliness. Aw might be describing himself, except that his threnodies are set to sophisticated modern jazz. Pico Iyer, "e;Time"e;
Goes beyond the bounds of the ordinary . . . Aw] provides a richly drawn landscape of compelling characters, and a deep immersion in their lives. . . . "e;Five Star Billionaire"e; is a fiercely contemporary tale of tradition, modernity and the cost of progress. Ellah Allfrey, All Things Considered, NPR
Aw has woven an impressive and contemporary human tapestry of a country that Western audiences would do well to better understand. The Daily Beast"e;
Five Star Billionaire
Random House Publishing Group