Testimonial: Fran Rittman

Testimonial: Fran Rittman

I am a literary agent and strong advocate of Nanny Eliana. I left Writers House in New York to move to Asia where I’ve lived for 15 years.

And in that time of searching high and low, I have very few local writers that I know will travel abroad with the sort of fanfare I feel I can get behind. Nanny’s own life experiences puts her in the position to incredibly weave the shocking and arcane, the traditional and beloved aspects of the Muslim world.  You’d be hard pressed to find another Muslim novelist in South East Asia much less one with such a lustrous, confident voice with the story to convey these dichotomies.

– Fran Rittman, literary agent

Raised in Singapore by middle-class Malay-Muslim parents, Nanny Eliana started composing short stories and poetry on her father’s typewriter at age six. As a student of the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ), she published her first Malay short story in the local Malay daily at 14, followed by two poems. In the same year, she was selected by an English student’s magazine and under the tutelage of a professional editor, she wrote its entertainment column for two years; this was the same year that she attended her first music press conference, for the famous rock band Jon Bon Jovi. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the National University of Singapore (NUS) with a double major in Theatre Studies and Sociology, then, upon graduation, plunged into freelance events management and writing for public relations and advertising agencies and women’s magazines. At 23, she became the founder and principal consultant of Bridges M&C Pte Ltd, a public relations agency. In 2010, she co-founded contract publishing firm Bridges Publishing Pte Ltd with her fiancé, a retired Major from the British Parachute Regiment. In the same year, she received an Arts Creation Fund grant from the National Arts Council to complete her first novel. The fruit of that grant is this, her first novel.