Books and Ideas at Montalto

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Linda Jaivin

Linda Jaivin is the author of five bestselling novels, including A Most Immoral Woman and the cult classic Eat Me. She’s also a renowned Chinese–English translator, and an essayist and journalist with unique insights into Chinese politics and culture.

The Empress Lover, Jaivin’s latest novel, intersperses the true story of Sir Edmund Backhouse – an eccentric baronet, sinologist, arms salesman and fantasist – with the fictional life of Linnie, an Australian translator living in contemporary Beijing. In a work that contrasts the breezy observations of an expatriate with the darker perspectives of a local, Jaivin interrogates her longstanding relationship with China and explores how the nation has evolved over the post-Tiananmen period.

With host Toni Jordan, Jaivin will discuss the book, her unique perspectives working as a translator, and her other recent project: Beijing, a portrait of the city’s unique personalities and fascinating history.

Arrive 6.30pm for a 7.00pm start.


Portrait of Linda Jaivin

Linda Jaivin

Linda Jaivin is the author of the international bestselling novel Eat Me – a kind of Sex and the Sydney before there was Sex and the City – as well as six other works of fiction, many of which have been published internationally, and four critically acclaimed works of non-fiction, including the China memoir Monkey and the Dragon, the Quarterly Essay Found in Translation: In Praise of a Plural World and Beijing, part of Reaktion Press's Cityscopes series and a love letter to the city to which she first travelled in 1980. 

Portrait of Toni Jordan

Toni Jordan

Toni Jordan is the author of five novels. The international bestseller Addition was a Richard and Judy Bookclub pick and was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Fall Girl was published internationally and has been optioned for film, and Nine Days was awarded Best Fiction at the Indie Awards, was shortlisted for the ABIA Best General Fiction award, and was named in Kirkus Review’s top 10 Historical Novels of 2013. Our Tiny, Useless Hearts was shortlisted for the Voss Literary Prize 2017 and longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award 2018. Toni’s latest book is the literary mystery The Fragments. She lives in Melbourne.

Books and Ideas at Montalto

You, a good book, a glass of wine, delicious food. Together as you were always meant to be. But with a wonderfully rich extra ingredient: a stimulating conversation with your favourite author.

From March to November, the literary meets the culinary at Books and Ideas at Montalto. Set in a stunning Red Hill winery on the Mornington Peninsula, join some of Australia’s most beloved writers for an intimate discussion about their work – served with excellent food and wine, as a languorous lunchtime tips into a relaxed afternoon.


More about this venue, including large map, parking, public transport and accessibility.

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