Born in Taiwan to Malaysian parents, Tash Aw grew up in Kuala Lumpur before moving to England in his teens. He studied law at the University of Cambridge and University of Warwick, then moved to London to write. After graduating he worked at a number of jobs, including as a lawyer for four years whilst writing his debut novel, which he completed during the creative writing course at the University of East Anglia. Based on royalties as well as prizes, Aw is the most successful Malaysian writer of recent years. Following the announcement of the Booker longlist, the Whitbread Award and his Commonwealth Writers' Prize, he became a celebrity in Malaysia and Singapore, and is now one of the most respected literary figures in Southeast Asia.