Linda Jaivin is an author and translator of Chinese. Her books include Eat Me, The Infernal Optimist and A Most Immoral Woman. Her most recent works are the novel The Empress Lover and the Quarterly Essay ‘Found in Translation’.
By this author
The cheap thrills of fan fiction
The slash pile
Confessions of a graphomaniac
Forty years of Australian–Chinese diplomacy
‘The Hall of Uselessness’ by Simon Leys
The Hall of Uselessness, a compendium of Simon Leys’s cultural and political commentary, is an elegant mansion of many rooms, connected by ingenious pathways, carpeted with wit and perfumed with what the Chinese call shuxiang – the …
Holiday on ice
A nobel affair
‘How to Make Gravy’ by Paul Kelly
From little things, big things grow: asked to perform four nights in a row at The Famous Spiegeltent in Melbourne in 2004, singer–songwriter Paul Kelly came up with a novel idea. Over the four nights, he would play 100 of his songs in alphabetical order …
‘Ilustrado’ by Miguel Syjuco
The body of Crispin Salvador, a somewhat passé Filipino writer living in America, is discovered floating down the Hudson River. His student and biographer, Miguel, searches among Salvador’s effects for the manuscript of a muckraking novel that had …
‘The Family Law’ by Benjamin Law
Tolstoy was wrong: not all happy families are alike. As portrayed in this very funny collection of personal essays by Benjamin Law, the family Law has found a truly original and unusual brand of happiness. It’s one that – more or less cheerfully – …
‘Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism’ by Natasha Walter
Swaddled in princess pink, tottering towards adolescence on their training heels, many young girls today are growing up in the plastic, not so fantastic monoculture of what Natasha Walter calls “living dolls”. This is a world in which, for women, …
‘The Pregnant Widow’ by Martin Amis
“It sometimes seemed to Keith that the English novel … asked only one question. Will she fall? Will she fall, this woman?” But in Martin Amis’ new novel, The Pregnant Widow, it is the man, Keith, who falls, time and again – …
We've come to the Telegraph Station, four kilometres north of Alice Springs, for a welcome to country by Marie, an Arrernte elder and traditional owner. Marie informs us that she writes and teaches, leads a dance troupe and artists' group among other …
Levelling with China
“Is there a bin?” I asked, holding my empty plastic lunchbox.
“Just throw it anywhere,” suggested Xiao Zhang amiably.
It was my first visit to Beijing, some 28 years ago. Chairman Mao had died in 1976; two years later, the new Communist leadership …
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