"The Exhumation" by Catherine Lim

A family conducts pacification rites to ensure their grandmother’s spirit is not disturbed when her grave is exhumed. The narrator attends the ceremony but does not participate, and later dreams about her grandmother being present during the rituals.


This book consists of three celebrated short story collections and an early novel, each reflecting Lim's prowess as a storyteller chronicling a society in transit, where multiethnic characters struggle with their identities as the past and the present intersect, mingle and clash.

Featured publications:

  • The Serpent's Tooth (1982)
  • They Do Return… but gently lead them back (1983)
  • O Singapore!: Stories in Celebration (1988)
  • The Woman's Book of Superlatives (1993)


The Catherine Lim Collection


Marshall Cavendish (2010)

Storytel (2019; audiobook)

Ghost Story Grave Heritage Horror


Xiao Yan

Xiao Yan

Xiao Yan enjoys drawing a wide variety of subject matter from absurd misadventures to re-imagining historical characters and faraway tribes. Her illustrations have been published in Epigram Books, Esquire magazine, The Substation, Marshall Cavendish Books and VICE Indonesia.


Catherine Lim

Catherine Lim is an accomplished and critically acclaimed author who has published a dozen collections of short stories, five novels, two volumes of poems and even a play. Her first short story collection was published in 1987 and her first novel, The Serpent’s Tooth was published in 1982.

Catherine has numerous international awards, including an Honorary Doctorate in Literature from Murdoch University. She is a Knight of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) in France, and an ambassador of the Hans Christian Andersen Foundation in Copenhagen.

More Stories