Map of the Invisible World
By Tash Aw
(Spiegel & Grau, Hardcover, 9780385527965, 336pp.)
Publication Date: January 5, 2010
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.
From the author of the internationally acclaimed, award-winning The Harmony Silk Factory comes an enthralling new novel that evokes an exotic yet turbulent and often frightening time and place. Map of the Invisible World is the masterly, psychologically rich tale of three lives indelibly marked by the past—their own and Indonesia's.
Sixteen-year-old Adam is an orphan three times over. He and his brother, Johan, were abandoned by their mother as children; then Adam watched as Johan was adopted and taken away by a wealthy couple; and now Adam is hiding because Karl, the man who raised him—and who is Dutch but long ago turned his back on the country of his ancestors—has been arrested by soldiers during Sukarno's drive to purge 1960s Indonesia of its colonial past.
All Adam has to guide him in his quest to find Karl are some old photos and letters, which send him to the colorful, dangerous capital, Jakarta, and to Margaret, an American whose own past is bound up with Karl's. Soon both have embarked on journeys of discovery that seem destined to turn tragic.
Woven hauntingly into this page-turning story is the voice of Johan, who is living a seemingly carefree, privileged life in Malaysia, but one that is careening out of control as he struggles to forget his long-ago betrayal of his helpless, trusting brother.
Map of the Invisible World confirms Tash Aw as one of the most exciting young voices on the international literary scene.
Tash Aw's debut novel, The Harmony Silk Factory, was the winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Novel and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Malaysian by birth, he now lives in London.
Set in the buildup to Indonesia's 1965 civil war, Tash Aw's Map of the Invisible World is the story of a 16-year-old boy on a quest to find his stepfather. More at NPR.org
NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.