A scorching novel that explores the myriad facets of love, intimacy, loneliness and violence.
The famous cross-dressing Cantonese opera singer, Chan Kam Foong, passes away, leaving her secret journal to her granddaughter, Xiu Yin, an archival officer at the Singapore National Archives.
Xiu Yin reads through the journal that chronicles her grandmother’s relationship with Dearest Intimate in their village in China to their respective escapes to the Nanyang before WWII and her desperate search for Dearest Intimate. Her grandmother’s reflections and letters to Dearest Intimate forces Xiu Yin to examine her marriage to an abusive husband and she plucks up the courage to leave him.
A surprise encounter with her first love, a rising Cantonese opera singer, brings a period of calm and joy when they lived together. But when Meng proposes marriage, Xiu Yin backs off and he leaves for Hong Kong. It takes three years of loneliness and letter writing before they reunite again.
Dearest Intimate is a scorching novel that explores the myriad facets of love, intimacy, loneliness and violence.
Suchen Christine Lim is an award-winning author of novels, short stories, children’s stories and a non-fiction book. She was awarded the Southeast Asia Write Award in 2012 for her body of work.
Fistful of Colours, winner of the inaugural Singapore Literature Prize, is cited as a classic Singapore novel. Later A Bit of Earth and The Lies That Build A Marriage were short listed for the same prize. Her debut novel, Rice Bowl, is considered a landmark novel on post-independence Singapore. The River’s Song was chosen as a “100 Best Books of 2015” Kirkus Reviews (USA) and Book of the Month in The Sunday Times, Singapore.
Awarded a Fulbright grant, she was a Fellow in the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program, and later its Writer in Residence. She was a Fellow in Creative Writing at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and has held writing residencies in the US, UK, Australia, South Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam and Myanmar.
(Author photo by Russel Wong)