PETALING JAYA: Critically-acclaimed Malaysian author, Tash Aw, is to receive an honorary degree from his alma mater, the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom.
The multi-award-winning writer will become an Honorary Doctor of Letters at the winter graduation ceremonies in January, a press release from the university said.
Aw was born in Taipei, Taiwan, to Malaysian parents, and grew up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He had a multilingual upbringing, speaking Malay, Mandarin, Cantonese and English during his youth. He went to England to study at both the Jesus College, Cambridge and at the University of Warwick before moving to London to write.
After graduating he worked at a number of jobs, including as a lawyer for four years, while writing his debut novel.
His first novel, “The Harmony Silk Factory”, was published in 2005. It was long-listed for the 2005 Man Booker Prize and won the 2005 Whitbread Book Awards First Novel Award, as well as the 2005 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Novel (Asia Pacific region).
It also made it to the long-list of the world’s prestigious 2007 International Impac Dublin Award and the Guardian First Book Prize. It has since been translated into 20 languages.
His second novel, titled “Map of the Invisible World”, was released in May 2009 to critical acclaim, with Time Magazine calling it “a complex, gripping drama of private relationships,” and praising Aw for his “matchless descriptive prose” and “immense intelligence and empathy.”
His 2013 novel “Five Star Billionaire” was long-listed for the 2013 Man Booker Prize.
Aw’s work of non-fiction, “The Face: Strangers on a Pier” (2016), was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize.
His novels have been translated into 23 languages.
His work has won an O Henry Prize and been published in The New Yorker, the London Review of Books, A Public Space and the landmark Granta 100, among others. Aw is also a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times.