A brilliant novel (now being translated into many languages around the world for simultaneous publication in 2005) from a genuinely exciting new voice in fiction. A novel for anyone who enjoyed 'The English Patient'.
Set in Malaysia in the 1930s and '40s, with the rumbling of World War II in the background, and the Japanese about to invade, The Harmony Silk Factory is the story of four people. Johnny is an infamous Chinaman - a salesman, a fraudster, possibly a murderer - whose shop house, The Harmony Silk Factory, he uses as a front for his illegal businesses; Snow Soong, the beautiful daughter of one of the Kinta Valley's most prominent families, dies giving birth to one of the novel's narrators; Kunichika is a Japanese officer who loves Snow; and Peter Wormwood, an Englishman who went to Malaysia and never went home again, also loved Snow, and did so to the end of his life. A journey these four take into the jungle has a devastating effect on each of them, and brilliantly exposes the cultural tensions of the era.
Haunting, highly original, 'The Harmony Silk Factory' is suspenseful to the last page.