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Shirley Geok-lin Lim Biography

(1944– ), Crossing the Peninsula, No Man's Grove, Modern Secrets: New and Selected Poems

writing english university malaya

Malaysian poet, born and raised in Malacca, Malaya, educated at the University of Malaya, and Brandeis University in the USA. She has continued to live in America, with frequent sojourns in Asia, but her work in all genres reflects her fascination with her heritage as a Chinese woman in Malaysia and a permanent foreigner in the country of her adoption. The choice of English as her language of expression, fraught with political ambiguities, is also a crucial issue in her writings. She is the author of several collections of poems, the first and best known of which is Crossing the Peninsula (1980). Her subsequent volumes include No Man's Grove (1985) and Modern Secrets: New and Selected Poems (1989); Monsoon History (1994) is a retrospective selection of her work. A well-known critic and scholar of Asian literature in English, Lim produced the pioneering anthology of women's writing The Forbidden Stitch (1990). Her most representative work is Writing South East/Asia in English: Against the Grain (1994), which contains autobiographical essays, critiques of writings by Asians such as Das and Mo, and theoretical reflections on being a literary migrant. See also Asian-American Writing.

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