Let’s Talk About Open

In my book, Open: A Boy’s Wayang Adventure, the protagonist is named Benjamin. He has ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder. He is also a non-verbal autistic. It is good to note that some autistic individuals may speak without stopping while many are non-verbal or partially verbal.

This movie still is courtesy of Brainchild Picture, the studio that produced The Wayang Kids, a movie about a bunch of primary school kids who must perform in a Chinese opera performance. Leading the team is a mildly autistic boy who doesn’t speak. He has to convince his friends and ultimately himself that he is good enough to play the role of Monkey King.

The book is an adaptation of the movie where Open has a voice.

It has been a very interesting and fulfilling writing journey for me working with Raymond Tan of Brainchild in producing this book. The collaboration has been one of friendship, camaraderie, the meeting of creative minds and most of all, growth.

As writers, we all know that putting ourselves into the shoes of the characters we write about can be a challenging endeavour. How can we represent these characters who are individuals in themselves, yet be that writer who forgoes ego remaining authentic to the character?

Raymond and I will be discussing this during the official book launch of Open. Come see us and join in the conversation about how Singapore literature can foster an environment of inclusivity in our communities and societies.

BOOK LAUNCH — OPEN: A BOY’S WAYANG ADVENTURE

is taking place 10 March 2–3 pm at the Living Room, The Arts House, under the banner of the BuySinglit Campaign which runs from 9 – 11 March, 2018. 

The launch programme will look at how Singapore literature can play a part in encouraging inclusivity. Singapore based British author Eva Wong Nava and film director Raymond Tan—the creative minds behind Open: A Boy’s Wayang Adventure—will be holding a dialogue about representation, acceptance, and preserving our cultural histories.

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Eva Wong Nava

Welcome to the official website of Eva Wong Nava, author of Open: A Boy’s Wayang Adventure.

Eva Wong Nava lives between two worlds. She reads copiously and writes voraciously. She holds a degree in English Literature and Language from the University of Hull where Philip Larkin was once the University Librarian; a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from University College London where the Institute of Education resides, and a certificate in Art Writing from Sotheby’s Art Institute which she undertook to better understand what the craft entails. She holds a M.A. in Art History and has taught children and adults how they can use writing for communication and play. She is the founder of CarpeArte Journal, an online space, which publishes works of flash fiction.  Eva’s flash fiction has appeared in various places and her writing on art have been published in international art journals.

Eva is the author of Open: A Boy’s Wayang Adventure. Her book is about a 10-year-old boy on the autism spectrum who must overcome his obstacles to perform on stage. Along the way, he befriends a girl who loves him and accepts him for who he is.

This children’s fiction has been slated for publication by Ethos Books, Singapore who believes in representing emergent voices from diverse backgrounds. Open: A Boy’s Wayang Adventure has been commended for being “[…] a gift calling to the largeness of our hearts.”

Open: A Boy’s Wayang Adventure took home the bronze medal at the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, 2018.

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
― Anaïs Nin