“Welcome to Readings, I’m Sharon Bakar,” said the host Amir Muhammad. Sharon Bakar, the organizer, was seated in the front row, taking a break from her hosting duties. The readings usually take place in front of Hamir Soib’s Tak ada beza, a 4-panel painting of pigs walking on their hind legs. This time, the readings took place in another part of Seksan Gallery, in front of a series of mixed-media works by students from Universiti Teknologi MARA. Reading@Seksan’s 9th anniversary was last month, but this month’s event is bigger. Why? Tash Aw is reading. His first novel, Harmony Silk Factory, won the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Novel. Nobel laureate Doris Lessing said the book is “unputdownable.”…

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