TALK with Tash Aw: We, The Survivors

On 23 November, Boek & Meester, in collaboration with Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, invites internationally acclaimed author Tash Aw to talk about his new novel We, The Survivors.

Interviewer: Ernest van der Kwast.

Tash Aw grew up in Kuala Lumpur and now lives in Paris. He wrote three novels, two of which were nominated for the Man Booker Prize, and he won the Whitbread First Novel Award. We, The Survivors, is published since August.

Ah Hock was born in a fishing village in Malaysia. Without any training, he tries to survive through poorly paid jobs in a country where wealth and security only apply to a small group of people. While globalization and technological progress are drastically changing the country and society, Ah Hock feels trapped in his poor and hopeless situation. Then, suddenly, seemingly out of the blue, he kills a Bangladeshi immigrant. Ah Hock's confession - recorded by a local journalist - is a portrait of an outsider without hope or remorse. It is a confrontational view of the negligible meaning of human life in our current world.

"I am discouraged by useless literature, especially at the moment, with the migrant crisis and all the growing racism around us. I was desperately looking for a novel that could help me better understand the present - as Elfriede Jelinek and Valeria Luiselli do - and Tash Aw has now written this book. "- Édouard Louis



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