Keeper of the Creative Flame: Suchen Christine Lim interviewed by Mohammad A. Quayum

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In this interview, the distinguished Singaporean novelist Suchen Christine Lim discusses her formative years as a writer, her process of writing and how she came to write her four novels–Ricebowl (1984), Gift from the Gods (1990), Fistful of Colours (1993) and A Bit of Earth(2001)–in an overwrought state, feeling “infected with the writer's virus”. She also explains why and how she came to write in the English language, how she divides her allegiance between Malaysia, the country where she was born and spent her childhood, and Singapore, the country she later chose to make her home; and why place, memory and history are such important, recurring themes in her fiction. Finally, she talks about the position of the writer in Singapore and how its “good life” poses a threat to his/her creativity; the state of women in the region and in her own fiction; and how regional critics could invigorate the literary scene with more originality and “informed criticism” rather than merely dwelling in the shadow of their Western counterparts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-158
Number of pages14
JournalThe Journal of Commonwealth Literature
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2006
Externally publishedYes


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