Authors Famous Authors from Singapore

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List of the most popular authors from Singapore, listed alphabetically with photos when available. For centuries authors have been among the world's most important people, helping chronicle history and keep us entertained with one of the earliest forms of storytelling. Whether they're known for fiction, non-fiction, poetry or even technical writing, the famous Singaporean authors on this list have kept that tradition alive by writing renowned works that have been praised around the world. You can find useful information below about these notable Singaporean writers, such as when they were born and where their place of birth was.

Authors here include everything from Cyril Wong to David Leo.

This list answers the questions, "Which famous authors are from Singapore?" and "Who are the best Singaporean authors?"

For further information on these historic Singaporean authors, click on their names. If you're a bookworm then use this list of celebrated Singaporean authors to discover some new books that you will enjoy reading.

1
Pao Kun Kuo is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Kuo Pao Kun was a playwright, theatre director, and arts activist in Singapore who wrote and directed both Mandarin and English plays. He founded three arts and drama centres in Singapore, ...more

2
Haresh Sharma is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Haresh Sharma is a Singaporean playwright. To date, he has written more than 100 plays that have been staged all over the world, including Singapore, Melbourne, Glasgow, Birmingham, Cairo and ...more

3
Leslie Charteris is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Señor Saint, Knight Templar, Thieves' Picnic Leslie Charteris, born Leslie Charles Bowyer-Yin, was a British-American author of adventure fiction, as well as a screenwriter. He was best known for his many books chronicling the adventures ...more

4
Newton N. Minow is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Inside the Presidential Debates, Presidential television, How vast the wasteland now? Newton Norman Minow is an American attorney and former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. His speech referring to television as a "vast wasteland" is cited even as the ...more

5
Glen Goei is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Glen Goei is an actor, film producer, film and theatre director.

6
Lee Kuan Yew is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
From Third World to First: The Singapore Story: 1965-2000, Singapore and the Asian Economic Boom, The Singapore story Lee Kuan Yew, GCMG, CH, informally known by his initials LKY, was the first Prime Minister of Singapore, governing for more than three decades from 1959 to 1990, including through Singapore's ...more

7
Catherine Lim is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
The Bondmaid, The serpent's tooth, The teardrop story woman Catherine Lim Poh Imm is a Singaporean fiction author known for writing about Singapore society and of themes of traditional Chinese culture. Hailed as the "doyenne of Singapore ...more

8
Michael Chiang is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Army Daze Michael Chiang is a prolific playwright and screenwriter in Singapore. He is known as "Singapore’s most famous and successful playwright". From 1990 to 2009, Chiang was the editorial ...more

9
James Lee is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
The Mystery of the Man Who Had to Die, The Mystery of the Unlucky Undertaker, The Mystery of the Missing Movie James Lee is a Singaporean author.

10
Sinnathamby Rajaratnam is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
The Prophetic & the Political: Selected Speeches & Writings of S. Rajaratnam, S. Rajaratnam, 2002-2003 MAT Sinnathamby Rajaratnam, better known as "S. Rajaratnam", was a Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore from 1980–85, a long-serving Minister and member of the Cabinet from 1959–88 and a ...more

11
Goh Sin Tub is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Ghosts of Singapore!, One Singapore, 30 stories Goh Sin Tub was a well-known pioneer of Singaporean literature. He was a prolific writer of numerous book titles, which includes bestsellers like the The Nan-Mei-Su Girls of Emerald Hill, The ...more

12
Arthur Yap is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
A brief critical survey of prose writings in Singapore and Malaysia, Thematic Structure in Poetic Discourse, Man Arthur Yap Chioh Hiong was a Singaporean poet, writer and painter.

13
Chay Yew is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
The hyphenated American, Porcelain, Red Chay Yew is a playwright and stage director who was born in Singapore. As of 2007 he lives in New York City. In July 2011, he became Artistic Director of Victory Gardens Theater, Chicago.

14
Rani Moorthy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Rani Moorthy is a Malaysian-born playwright, actress, and artistic director of Rasa Productions. Following the race riots of 1969 her family tried to emigrate to Singapore, but were unsuccessful ...more

15
Chua Lam is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Chua Lam Chua Lam is a columnist, food critic and occasional television host in Hong Kong and Japan. He was also a movie producer for the Hong Kong movie studio Golden Harvest.

16
Rex Shelley is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Rex Shelley Culture Shock! Japan, Sounds and sins of Singlish, and other nonsense Rex Anthony Shelley was a Eurasian Singaporean author. A graduate of the University of Malaya in Singapore and Cambridge trained in engineering and economics, Shelley managed his own business ...more

17
Kelvin Tan Wei Lian is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
All Broken Up and Dancing Kelvin Tan Wei Lian is a blind Singaporean Mandopop singer who earned a living as a busker before he won the first edition of Project SuperStar in 2005. He has released three albums, All I Want ...more

18
Tommy Koh is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
The United States and East Asia, Asia and Europe, Tan jiu shi jie zhi xu Tommy Koh, DUNU, is an international lawyer, professor, and a diplomat from Singapore. He was also the former ambassador to the United Nations.

19
Han Lao Da is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Han Lao Da is a Singaporean playwright, as well as founder and principal of Han Language Centre. Han received the Cultural Medallion for his contributions in the Singaporean drama scene, and is ...more

20
Philip Jeyaretnam is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Raffles place ragtime, Abraham's promise, Tigers in paradise Philip Antony Jeyaretnam is a Singaporean lawyer and novelist. He is a Senior Counsel and a former President of the Law Society of Singapore. He is the son of J.B. Jeyaretnam, who was a ...more

21
Chee Soon Juan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Dare to change Chee Soon Juan is a Singaporean politician. He is currently the leader of the Singapore Democratic Party. A figure in Singapore's political opposition, Chee has been arrested and jailed several ...more

22
Goh Poh Seng is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Goh Poh Seng The Immolation, If We Dream Too Long Goh Poh Seng, Singaporean dramatist, novelist, doctor and poet, was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaya in 1936. He was educated at Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur, received his medical degree ...more

23
Gopal Baratham is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Figments of Experience, A candle or the sun, The city of forgetting Gopal Baratham was a Singaporean author and neurosurgeon. He was known for his frank style and his ability to write about topics that were often considered controversial in the conservative ...more

24
Russell Lee is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
True Singapore Ghost Stories Book 3, True Singapore Ghost Stories Book 6, True Singapore Ghost Stories Book 7 Russell Lee is a Singaporean author best known as the creator of True Singapore Ghost Stories, a series of books that has been among the most popular source of ghost stories in Singapore, ...more

25
Ng Yi-Sheng is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Ng Yi-Sheng SQ21 Ng Yi-Sheng is a Singaporean gay writer. He has published a collection of his poems entitled last boy, which won the Singapore Literature Prize, and a documentary book on gay, lesbian and ...more

26
Kishore Mahbubani is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East Kishore Mahbubani is a notable academic and former Singaporean diplomat. He is currently Professor in the Practice of Public Policy and Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the ...more

27
Suchen Christine Lim is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Fistful of colours, A bit of earth Suchen Christine Lim was born in Ipoh, Malaysia and had her early education at the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus in Penang and Kedah. At the age of 14 she came to Singapore, and continued her ...more

28
Bonny Hicks is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Bonny Susan Hicks was a Singapore Eurasian model and writer. After garnering fame as a model, she gained recognition for her contributions to Singaporean post-colonial literature and the ...more

29
Hwee Hwee Tan is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Foreign bodies, Mammon Inc., Drachenkinder Hwee Hwee Tan is a Singaporean writer.

30
Rohan Gunaratna is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Rohan Gunaratna Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror, International dimension of the Sri Lankan conflict, Indian intervention in Sri Lanka Rohan Gunaratna is an international terrorism expert. He is the head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. ...more

31
Choor Singh is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Choor Singh Sidhu, known professionally as Choor Singh, was a judge of the Supreme Court of Singapore and, particularly after his retirement from the bench, a philanthropist and writer of books ...more

32
Alfian Sa'at is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Corridor Alfian bin Sa'at is a Singaporean writer, poet and playwright. He is a Muslim of Minangkabau, Javanese and Hakka descent. He is known for his provocative works and is often referred to as his ...more

33
Liang Wern Fook is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Dr Liang Wern Fook is a Singaporean writer, musician, and researcher in Chinese literature and pedagogy. He was one of the pioneer figures in the xinyao movement in the 1980s and 1990s.

34
Lin Hsin Hsin is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
In bytes we travel, Take a word for a walk, Love at 1st byte Lin Hsin Hsin is an IT inventor, artist, poet and composer from Singapore, deeply rooted in mathematics and information technology. She established the first virtual museum website, the Lin Hsin ...more

35
David Leo is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
David Leo Different Strokes, Shakespeare can wait, Life's so like dat David Leo is a writer in Singapore. Leo received a Publishers Prize for Ah … The Fragrance of Durians & Other Stories in 1993, a National Book Department Council Book Awards for works in ...more

36
Koh Buck Song is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Koh Buck Song is a writer, editor and consultant in branding, communications strategy and corporate social responsibility in Singapore. He has authored and edited more than 20 books.

37
Gautam Malkani is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Gautam Malkani Londonstani Gautam Malkani is a journalist for The Financial Times, and the author of the novel Londonstani. He has worked on the FT's UK news desk in London as well as in the Washington bureau. He is ...more

38
Chandran Nair is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Chandran Nair is a Singaporean poet and retired Director and Mediator of UNESCO in Paris.

39
Edwin Thumboo is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Edwin Nadason Thumboo B.B.M. is a Singaporean poet and academic who is regarded as one of the pioneers of English literature in Singapore. Thumboo graduated in English from the University of ...more

40
Alvin Pang is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Alvin Pang was named 2005 Young Artist of the Year by the National Arts Council Singapore. He holds a First Class Honours degree in English literature from the University of York and an Honorary ...more

41
Neil Humphreys is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Premier Leech Neil Humphreys is a British humour columnist and author of three best-selling humorous books about Singapore - Notes From an Even Smaller Island, Scribbles from the Same Island and Final Notes ...more

42
Cyril Wong is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Cyril Wong is a poet, fictionist and critic.

43
Charles Ferguson-Davie is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
The early history of Indians in Natal The Rt Rev Charles James Ferguson-Davie was an Anglican bishop, the first Bishop of Singapore, appointed 1910. Born into a clerical family, he was educated at Marlborough College and Trinity ...more

44
Aaron Lee is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Aaron Lee Soon Yong is a Singaporean prize-winning poet who writes in English. He was born in Malaysia but received his education in Singapore and became a Singaporean in 1996.

45
Lee Seng Tee is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Lee Seng Tee Dr. Lee Seng Tee, FBA, is a Singaporean businessman and philanthropist. Born in Singapore in 1923, Lee is the second son of Lee Kong Chian and a maternal grandson of Tan Kah Kee. He is a ...more

46
Alex Au is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Alex Au Waipang, also known by his Internet nom de plume as Yawning Bread, is part of the Singapore gay equality movement. He is the author of a website, where he provides analyses of ...more

47
Tan Swie Hian is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Tan Swie Hian is a Singaporean multidisciplinary artist known for his contemporary Chinese calligraphy, chinese poetry and contemporary art sculptures found in Singapore and many parts of the ...more

48
Tan Tarn How is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Tan Tarn How is a Singaporean playwright and senior research fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies. His plays have been staged in Singapore and Hong Kong, and have won numerous awards. In ...more

49
V. R. Gopala Pillai is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
V. R. Gopala Pillai Villayil Raman Gopala Pillai, better known as V. R. Gopala Pillai, was a Singaporean novelist writing in Malayalam under the nom de plume G.P. Njekkad, after his natal village in Kerala.

50
Boey Kim Cheng is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Authors from Singapore
Boey Kim Cheng Boey Kim Cheng is a Singapore-born Australian poet. He is of Chinese descent. As a student he won the National University of Singapore Poetry Writing/Creative Prose Competition and has since ...more