Rice Bowl

Rice Bowl by Suchen Christine Lim
ISBN 981 204 099 4
Times Books International, Singapore, 1984;
New edition 2009 by Marshall Cavendish Singapore


Jacket Text


Rice Bowl – A first novel from the first Singapore Literature Prize Winner.

It was a thrusting world out there – every man for himself, striving, straining towards a full rice bowl. Hunger to be assuaged. Mouths to be kept busy. Fresh into university, Marie’s Gang of Four, daring to be different, involve themselves with social issues, breaking away from their ivory tower. Then, all too soon, they are swept up in a cycle of events and a clash of personalities that leave them tangled forever.

Rice Bowl is a powerfully written novel about the complexity of living and loving in Singapore, drawing into its boundaries the little explored areas of human relationships, threading its way through those tentative awakening emotions which now lie raw and exposed.




‘The late 60s and 70s were important for Suchen Christine Lim. She grew up. She established and clarified her values and attitudes during those years, close after Singapore’s independence and in the first flush of the country’s development. Malaysia-born, she was conscious of ‘having chosen Singapore as my nation. … We were at the cross roads, trying to decide whether we should migrate. Would we have a future here?’ … So not surprisingly her book, Rice Bowl, captures the uncertainty, questioning and struggles of a group of young people in those early days.’

~  Caroline Ngui, The Straits Times, Singapore