Dearest Intimate

Suchen Christine Lim’s most recent novel. Published in 2022.

ISBN 9789815044348
Marshall Cavendish Editions, 2022.

Book Launch in October 2022

Book Launch of the Dearest Intimate novel by Suchen Christine Lim.

My Book of the Year 2022 – Singapore Unbound

The highlight amongst Singapore literary publications for me this year is Suchen Christine Lim’s new novel, Dearest Intimate, published by Marshall Cavendish Editions (2022). The novel’s central importance lies in its deep knowledge and illumination of Chinese opera. This dying art, once ubiquitous as street opera or Wayang in Singapore, is almost no more. Dearest Intimate not only brings to life this centuries-old profession and its history for a modern generation but explores the sense of dedication any serious artist must feel to their craft, be they poet, painter, writer, or dancer. ‘Opera is my lifeblood. Much more important than a daily bowl of rice,’ says Master Wu, on the day he founds the Golden Phoenix Cantonese Opera Troup. As with many of Suchen Christine Lim’s novels, Dearest Intimate draws attention to dying ways of life and the onslaught of change. The book’s many layers cross back and forth over time, history, and culture. Woven around the central theme of Chinese Opera, the novel is a deeply felt and sensitively probed exploration of human connection and experience, in difficult marital situations and courtship, loving sisterhood, and family relationships. Above all, this is a book about love in its many guises, in all its brutality and tenderness. Dearest Intimate is an important book for Singapore, and perhaps Suchen Christine Lim’s best.

~ Meira Chand, novelist:

Vivid and Emotionally Powerful

… the Cantonese opera theme has infused a poetic tone throughout (Dearest Intimate) … The book should be read but it is so vivid and emotionally powerful that it deserves to exist in more than one art form.

~ Dr Paul Tan, a reader residing in New Zealand.