Suchen Christine Lim is the first Singapore writer and the first woman to win the Singapore Literature Prize for her third novel, Fistful of Colours. "If you want to enter the kingdom of New Art in Singapore, you will have to paint and reach beyond your ethnic group. Paint those you do not know well, for in learning to paint them or write about them, you will get to know them better," says Nica Sivalingam. Fistful of Colours explored the themes of art, ethnicity, love, identity and history.
"I was trying to see whether I could foreground history and write a novel in which individual and communal history become enmeshed. If the novel, as the blurb claims, is about three young women, why can't history be the fourth? Singapore history is both young and old at the same time, if you think about it."
"The novelist must be willing to live through the loneliness of the long distance runner if she cares about both form and substance. Writing a novel part time while holding down a full time job and looking after a family makes it doubly difficult for many women writers. I am not happy just with telling a story. I am concerned about how the tale is told and in whose voice? I have experimented with mainly male voices in my fourth novel, Bit of Earth."