We, the Survivors
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About the Author
"[Aw's] Asia is neither sentimental nor a stereotype . . . Aw is a precise stylist; with a few, lean images, he evokes a country on the cusp of change: a sofa still sheathed in plastic to protect it from everyday life, the rusting tin for Danish butter cookies now holding a man's life savings, the small-time crook with three rings on each hand and cash held together with a rubber band."
--Hannah Beech, The New York Times Book Review
"Ah Hock is an excellent protagonist, among the best I've encountered in years. He's lovable and empathy-stirring, and his mix of remorse, acceptance, and hope is profoundly moving. Reading him is a pleasure, as is reading Aw's prose. Aw is a beautiful writer who-- this is rare-- excels at switching beauty off, or dimming it almost to nothing."
--Lily Meyer, NPR
"Aw masterfully conveys his protagonist's specificity while also weaving together a larger picture of the class divisions, racial biases, unjust working conditions, and gender roles that pulse under the surface . . . A raw depiction of one man's troubled life and the web of social forces that worked to shape it." --Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"Aw's captivating novel revolves around a fateful moment of violence set against the backdrop of an ever-changing Malaysia. In an almost stream-of-consciousness work, readers become the proverbial fly on the wall . . . Aw's potent work entraps readers in the slow, fateful descent of its main character, witnessing his life spiral to its inevitable conclusion." --Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"[From his] devastating opening line . . . Aw (Five Star Billionaire, 2013) savagely erases any doubt that only the fittest survive in the ruthless world of global capitalism." --Booklist (Starred Review)
"[Aw's] achievement is to make a global story personal . . . [We, the Survivors] can't easily be pushed out of mind." --Anthony Cummins, The Guardian
"Aw skillfully tempts the reader through the book by describing the killing in a fragmented way: the desire to know what happened keeps you engaged." --Sunday Times (UK)
"Brilliantly executed . . . For all the injustice, inequality and unhappiness that We, the Survivors portrays, there is a strange tranquility as it reaches its thorny climax, as if accepting the toxins of modern society is the first step to neutralizing them" --Hilary A. White, Irish Independent
"The ironically-titled We, the Survivors is the story of billions of human beings today--but not one reader. This is the tale of poor people--refugees, day laborers--whose lives are ruled by cruel circumstance and extreme poverty, whose struggles end in defeat, who are not meant to survive. What would be abstract in a report is here given burning, lacerated flesh. In the twenty-first century it is our Everyman, alas."
--Edmund White, author of The Unpunished Vice
"Tash Aw's new novel succeeds in achieving many feats: it is at once the great novel on today's racism that we have been waiting for; a masterly fresco of Southeast Asia, a region of the world that remains underrepresented in literature; and a magnificent story . . . We, The Survivors is one of the most beautiful and powerful books I've read in years." --Édouard Louis, author of History of Violence
"Utterly absorbing to the last word . . . With deep empathy combined with a sharp, unflinching gaze. As with his other books, we end up loving the characters we might otherwise hate, and arguing with those we might have a natural affinity for. [Aw] manages to turn our assumptions inside out, all while creating a world that would, without him, remain out of reach and invisible."--Tahmima Anam, author of A Golden Age