Linda Jaivin, Erotica author, GOMA Talks

Honesty and excellence, in life and art ...

It’s not often you find someone that combines the careers of erotica author, sinologist and translator of Chinese subtitles and text into their every day. Born in Connecticut, Linda Jaivin studied in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong before moving to Australia. Based in Sydney, this academic translator first broke into the erotica literary scene in 1995 with her first novel, and international bestseller, Eat Me. Now the author of six fiction and two non-fiction books, Linda entwined her witty, stimulating prose with her passion for China in her most recent tome, A Most Immoral Woman, which is set across China and Japan in 1904 and based on the true story of an affair between the great Australian journalist George E. Morrison and American heiress Mae Perkins. One of the panellists at this week’s final installment of GOMA Talks during APT7, Linda is joined by Wesley Enoch, Professor Julianne Schultz and Dr Michael Wesley, with ABC Radio National’s Saturday Extra host Geraldine Doogue leading the discussion of some of the major issues shaping cultural and political policy in Asia and the Pacific. GOMA Talks will be held this Thursday April 4 from 6:30 pm at the Gallery of Modern Art. The Weekend Edition caught up with Linda to chat weekend essentials and inspirations.

How do you like to start your weekend?
In with a good book or out with good people.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Saturday morning?

Meeting friends at the Kings Cross farmers markets for coffee, gossip and grocery shopping.

How do you like to unwind?
Cooking, reading and dancing, occasionally at the same time.

What are your essentials for a well-spent weekend?
A balance of solitude and sociability.

What’s something you’ve been meaning to do on the weekend but haven’t got around to yet?
Taking the whole weekend off.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Sunday evening?

Watch a film.

What are you looking forward to next weekend?

Meeting a German journalist who interviewed me 18 years ago and, annoyingly, beat me at Scrabble. Possibly a swim.

What are you reading at the moment?
Lionel Shriver’s The New Republic, William Boyd’s Ordinary Thunderstorms and John Garnaut’s The Rise and Fall of the House of Bo.

What inspires you?
Honesty and excellence, in life and art. The work of Amnesty International and Médecins Sans Frontières and other such organisations. Feminism.

What was your childhood dream?
To travel and write books. Tick, tick.

What has been your greatest achievement?
Helping in a small way to make refugees feel welcome in this country despite everything they hear from the mouths of our politicians.

What is success to you?

What are your words of wisdom?

A Daoist priest in China once told me that unhappiness is the distance between what we desire to achieve and what are capable of achieving. You are a writer, he said. Write as best you can, but don’t hang your happiness on winning The Nobel Prize.

Only a local would know … Brown Rice – a minuscule restaurant near the end of Bayswater Road in Kings Cross serving organic Japanese comfort food of grilled eel on rice, sukiyaki and more.

Perk up …
Room 10 at Potts Point. Perfect coffee, lovely staff, beautiful eggs.
Relax …
Rushcutters Bay Park, Sydney.
Dine …
at home – mine or someone else’s.
Indulge … a long bath with scented oils and a novel in hand.
Shop …
The Wayside Chapel op shop, Potts Point.
Catch-up …
Kings Cross Organic Market on a Saturday.
Be inspired …
Art galleries and bookshops.


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