Suchen Christine Lim

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Suchen Christine Lim
Born (1948-07-15) July 15, 1948 (age 70)
Ipoh, Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia)
Occupation Author
Nationality Singapore
Genre Fiction
Notable works Fistful of Colours (1992)
The Lies that Build a Marriage: Stories of the Unsung, Unsaid and Uncelebrated in Singapore(2007)
Notable awards 1986: Merit Prize, NUS-Shell Short Play Competition
1992: Inaugural Singapore Literature Prize
2012: S.E.A. Write Award

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Suchen Christine Lim (born 1948) was born in Ipoh, Federation of Malaya and had her early education at the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) in Penang and Kedah. At the age of 14 she came to Singapore, and continued her education at CHIJ Katong. She read literature at the National University of Singapore, and graduated with a post-graduate diploma in applied linguistics. After her graduation, Lim joined the Ministry of Education as a curriculum specialist, and devoted her time between family, work and writing throughout her years with the ministry.[1]

Her first novel Rice Bowl was published in 1984, and she co-wrote the award-winning short play The Amah: A Portrait In Black And White in 1986. Her second novel Gift From The Gods (1990) was nominated for a National Book Development Council award in 1992. In that same year, Lim won the inaugural Singapore Literature Prize for her third novel Fistful of Colours (1992). A Bit of Earth (2000) was nominated for the Singapore Literature Prize in 2004. In 1996 she was given a Fulbright Grant to attend the prestigious Iowa Writers' Workshop, and returned to the university as writer-in-residence in 2000. This residency honour was also extended to her at the University of Western Australia in Perth, the Moniack Mhor Writers' Centre in the Scottish Highlands and Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines.[1]

Lim retired from the Ministry of Education in August 2003, to devote her time to writing. That devotion subsequently bore fruit in the novels published as Hua Song: Stories of the Chinese Diaspora (2005) and The Lies that Build a Marriage: Stories of the Unsung, Unsaid and Uncelebrated in Singapore (2007).[1]

In 2015, The Straits Times' Akshita Nanda selected Fistful of Colours as one of 10 classic Singapore novels. She wrote, "The gorgeously detailed A Fistful Of Colours by Suchen Christine Lim covers art and women's fight for equal rights over 80 years of Singapore history. The winner of the first Singapore Literature Prize in 1992, it is a fist to the gut with its relentless portrayal of female struggles for power in a patriarchal society that strips women of any right to their sexuality or dignity."[2]



Short stories[edit]

  • The Lies that Build a Marriage: Stories of the Unsung, Unsaid and Uncelebrated in Singapore (2007, Monsoon Books) ISBN 9789810587130


  • Hua Song: Stories of the Chinese Diaspora (2005, Long River Press) ISBN 9781592650439



  • The Amah: a Portrait in Black and White (1986, short play)

See also[edit]

  • Literature of Singapore
  • Mohammad A. Quayum, "An Interview with Suchen Christine Lim." Peninsular Muse: Interviews with Modern Malaysian and Singaporean Poets, Novelists and Dramatists. Ed. Mohammad A. Quayum. Oxford, UK: Peter Lang, 2007.


  1. ^ a b c Yap, Stephanie (4 May 2008). "Soulful writer in pursuit of happiness". Singapore: Straits Times. 
  2. ^ Nanda, Akshita. "10 Singapore stories to ponder". The Straits Times. Singapore Press Holdings. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 

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