Famous Authors in Singapore

The literature of Singapore is unique in itself; this is because it is probably the only country which has native literature recorded in four different languages, English, Tamil, Malay and Chinese. The books and poems written by the authors from Singapore reflect the multi-cultural influence in the country. Most of the works, whatever language they might be written in, are translated into the other three national languages. Over the years, Singapore has given rise to a number of famous authors. Below given are some of the most illustrious ones.

Edwin Nadason Thumboo:

Thumboo is one of the most well-known authors of the post-independence era in Singapore. He was particularly famous for penning down lyrical poetry which reflected the socio cultural life of Singapore. Most of his poems were based on nationalistic themes inspired by his experiences during the pre and post independence era. Owing to his fluency in writing lyrical poems based on nationalistic themes, he is known as the poet laureate of Singapore. Some of the best works of this award winning poet are A Third Map (1993), Ulysses by the Merlion (1979), Gods Can Die (1977) and Ribs of Earth (1956).
Augustine Goh Sin Tub
Goh Sin Tub is known for his collections of short stories. A winner of numerous awards, this writer, social worker and teacher rose to fame with his fictional writing work. He started writing in Malay and later, penned several books in English. His famous works are "In a Flash he found the Meaning to His Life" and "Rat Race". Goh Sin tub formed “Youth Poetry Circle” group to encourage local talent. Edwin Thumboo is one of the beneficiaries of this group.

Su-Chen Christine Lim
She rose to fame with her novel “Fistful of Colors” which won the inaugural Singapore Literature Prize. Lim’s works address many social subjects, her highest preference being gender issues. Her books also weave a beautiful tale of the strong bonds that exist between the multicultural populations of Singapore. “A Bit of Earth” is another one of her famous works which deals with land issues in the country. Christine Lim is considered to be one of the most talented authors of modern Singapore.

Goh Poh Seng
Seng began his career as a doctor before he found his calling in literature. He achieved great appreciation as a poet, novelist and dramatist. An author of international repute, his works have been published in many anthologies and magazines in many parts of the world and have also been translated into different languages.

Some of his famous novels are “If We Dream Too Long”, “The Immolation”, “Eye Witnesses” and “Bird With One Wing”. His collections of poetry “The Girl from Ermita” and “As Though the Gods Love Us” are the most famous. He has won several awards for his excellent work.

Catherine Lim
A bestselling Singapore author, Catherine Lim narrates fictional tales of Singaporean society and Chinese culture in the most profound and effective manner. Catherine Lim was bestowed the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters title by the French Government in recognition of her exemplary work in literature. Some of her famed works are “The Serpent’s Tooth”, “The Bondmaid” and “Following the Wrong God”. Her collection of short stories include “Or Else, The Lightening Gods and Other Stories” and “O Singapore: Stories in Celebration”. The most powerful work that Lim wrote, which made the president of Singapore whirl up a storm because of the strong social commentary on political issues, was “The PAP and the People: A Great Affective Divide”.

The literary scene in Singapore is very rich with numerous writers who have achieved international fame and recognition. Besides the authors mentioned above, some of the most popular literary exponents of the country are Kelvin Tan, Gopal Baratham, Rex Shelley and Hwee Hwee Tan, to name a few.

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