The literature of Singapore comprises a collection of literary works by Singaporeans in any of the country’s four main languages: English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. While Singaporean literary works may be considered as also belonging to the literature of their specific languages, the literature of Singapore is viewed as a distinct body of literature portraying various aspects of Singapore society and forms a significant part of the culture of Singapore. A number of Singaporean writers such as Tan Swie Hian and Kuo Pao Kun have contributed work in more than one language. However, this cross-linguistic fertilization is becoming increasingly rare and it is now increasingly thought that Singapore has four sub-literatures instead of one.
Singaporean writers work to create a literary voice and space that celebrates Singapore’s multicultural society, Singaporean literature (like any other literature) is not without its flaws. And, moreover, its writers should be wary of oversimplifying a complex issue by assuming that they are capable of speaking for all Singaporeans. However, because Singapore embraces multiculturalism and hybridity, Singapore’s national identity is “evolving” with its literature. While Singaporean literature addresses the issue of national identity, it is not so much an issue of creating unity within (which tends to be the Malaysian theme); Singaporean writers are concerned with creating a voice and space for Singaporean literature.