6pm Wednesday 9 July 2014
Asia Bookroom, Unit 2, 1 – 3 Lawry Place, Macquarie, ACT
Linda Jaivin in conversation with Geremie Barmé
About the book: Beijing is an intimate and informed portrait of a city at the centre of one of the world’s oldest civilizations and the capital of one of its newest superpowers. Humans and their ancestors – Peking Man among them – have lived here for hundreds of thousands of years. Over three and a half millennia, cities have risen and fallen in this place, five of them the capitals of dynastic empires. For centuries the stage for sieges, massacres, rebellions and political spectacle, Beijing has produced or inspired some of China’s greatest and most iconic works of literature, theatre and music. At this book’s heart is a concise, lively history of the city, full of big and charismatic personalities and dramatic events. Thought-provoking essays on topics ranging from the elemental problems of water and air to the vibrant art scene and the architectural adventurism of the city’s ‘hyperbuildings’ take the reader to the shores of the city’s lakes, down into its subway system and through its bustling art districts.
Linda Jaivin is the internationally published author of eleven books, seven fiction and four non-fiction. Her first novel, Eat Me, was a best-seller in both Australia and overseas. Her fifth novel, The Infernal Optimist, was short-listed for the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal and has been optioned for a feature film. The Empress Lover, her seventh novel, was published in April 2014 and a delighted Asia Bookroom audience heard her speak here in early May. Linda is also the author of numerous published short stories and essays, including Quarterly Essay 52: Found in Translation: In Praise of a Plural World. She has also written for the theatre and is a literary and film translator from Chinese.
Geremie Barmé Director, Australian Centre on China in the World and Professor of Chinese History at the Australian National University, is a leading expert on Chinese culture and intellectual history. He has a great many publications to his name including two books on Beijing.