Eat Meby Linda Jaivin
When four bright, successful friends meet in Sydney's designer cafés and restaurants to gossip about their romantic exploits, the talk sizzles. Julia, Chantal, Helen,
In this eye-popping first novela bestseller in both the United States and AustraliaLinda Jaivin invites readers to overhear what women really talk about when they talk about sex.
When four bright, successful friends meet in Sydney's designer cafés and restaurants to gossip about their romantic exploits, the talk sizzles. Julia, Chantal, Helen, and Phillipa are the best of friends. Professionally, their lives could not be more different, but whenever they get together, there are always plenty of intimate revelations to dish up and devour. Julia is a spunky photographer with a penchant for Peking duck and younger men; Chantal is a fashion magazine editor whose sexual preferences give new meaning to the words "mixing and matching"; Helen is a feminist scholar whose outward wholesomeness belies her inner naughtiness; and Phillipa is a somewhat secretive writer who appears to be taking rather close notes on her friends' raunchy tales. This outrageous, irresistible, and utterly original debut, which led Entertainment Weekly to call Jaivin "one of the 100 most creative people in entertainment," is the juiciest book you will read this year.
You can't take any of these questions too seriously with Eat Me, which despite all its literary pretensions and self-referential semiotic theory issues is best read as a racy and entertaining romp. Like the casual sexual encounters that all four of the women describe to every last detail, it tastes great, is less filling and is ultimately meaningless. A bestseller in Australia, this book is a smart and funny exploration of the sexual lives of four 30-ish women living in Australia. All single, all sexually voracious, they spend much of their time regaling each other with sexual conquests, real and imagined, as they move through the trendy cafe and party world of Sydney. Food plays a secondary role in the novel, and is described in just as luscious detail.
Helen, a feminist theory professor, is described as "a whole grain loaf of a woman ... seeded with freckles." Clothes are removed in the mating dance "as if they were the leaves of a steamed artichoke." Figs, strawberries and grapes are fondled, then inserted in nether regions, "sticky seed spill[ing] out, adhering to the lips of her cunt and the secret places on the inside of her thighs." All of which makes for great erotic reading, and much shifting of thighs. But Eat Me's main weakness is that it can't decide what it wants to be, and the reader may feel cheated on both fronts. While one doesn't read porn for its Aristotelian structure or complex characterizations, one does expect something of that in a novel. And while some of the pornographic descriptions in Eat Me are told in wet, hot detail, others of them remain, as one character puts it, "very vanilla."
What is refreshing about the novel is its candid approach. No, most women don't talk to each other the way that Chantal, Julia, Phillipa and Helen do, with their descriptions of getting taken from behind by truckers on deserted roads or raping Rambo-types on the beach or cavorting with cunnilingus-craving security guards. But what if they did? It's an interesting question, and don't think Jaivin doesn't know it. With all the postmodern references to everything from Gothic poets to valorization, from Naomi Wolf to Luscious Jackson, she knows exactly the type of audience who's buying into Eat Me. Ignore all the postmodern, post-feminist, post-fill-in-the-blank and enjoy the snappy repartee and witty cultural references. Then settle in for some well-written erotica. You may even pick up some tips.-- Salon July 17, 1997
Julia, a photographer, adores younger meneven if they do exhibit a frustrating refusal to commit. Helen, a "whole-grain loaf" of a lit professor, can whip up a salacious fantasy about any man despite her feminist politics and anxiety about her weight. Chantal, the anorexic fashion editor of a style magazine, prefers the safety of gay men to the arrogant hetero poseurs she's met in the past. And Philippa, a self-defined lesbian and voyeur, claims she keeps herself sexually satisfied by committing her erotic fantasies to paper. Meeting at Sydney's Café Da Vida, these four high-powered women, all in their early 30s, relish exchanging reports of exceptional one-night stands, libidinous fantasies, shocking past encounters, and erotic schemes for the future. As Chantal recalls her student/mentor S&M relationship with a now-renowned poet and fends off drooling fellow espresso drinkers at the café, Julia tells of seducing a dreadlocked 21-year-old, then flying off to China, where she's ravished in a park by a local contortionist and snake-charmer. Helen captivates her friends with an impossibly lush and funny fantasy of a seaside encounter with Rambo, then stuns them with the re-creation of a tryst with a truck driver. What these three women don't realize as they chat over their cappuccino is that quiet Philippa is taking mental notes, and that their secrets will soon appear in "fictionalized" form in a novel entitled Eat Me. Philippa is soon forgiven, though, as her friends note that she's as generous in print with her own past as with theirs.
Already a bestseller in its native Australia (the author was raised in Connecticut but works as a freelance journalist in Sydney), this tossed salad of erotic scenarios charms as few examples of its genre ever have.
"[Jaivin's] light touch prompts even the steamiest sex scenes to soar into satire. . . . Jaivin never loses sight of her self-declared goal, which is to wrench the writing of erotica from its male practitioners, dress it up with style and sly humor, and restore it to women."
Los Angeles Times
"Something like Waiting to Exhale (or Waiting to Swallow). . .You'll enjoy this tasty rompyou'd better, you slaveand you will thank Jaivin for the exquisite pleasure."
- Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 4.33(w) x 7.01(h) x 0.55(d)
Read an Excerpt
She ran her fingers over the fresh figs. Surprising little sacs they were. Funny, dark, and wrinkled, yet so exquisite on the tongue. Mother Nature had surely been thinking of Father Nature when she invented figs.
Ava looked up, tossing back her long black hair and glancing around with ice blue eyes. It seemed she had the whole supermarket to herself. Sarah, the one cashier on late-night duty, had just checked out the only other customer and was absorbed once more in her Harlequin romance. All that could be heard was the hum of the refrigerators and the uninvasive beat of the Muzak. The artificial chill of the heavy-duty air-conditioning took the edge off what might otherwise have been an almost unbearably lusty cornucopia of smells, from the sweet ripeness of the bananas to the citron pungency of the lemons and limes. Everything was cold in supermarkets--the shiny mop-polished floors, the gelid steel of the shelves, the polar fluorescence of the lighting.
Ava picked up a fig from the pile and sniffed it. She stuck out her tongue and licked it. If milk is for pussies, why not figs? Slowly, she hiked her short black skirt up above the lace tops of her stockings. She wore no underwear. She never wore underwear. What was the point? She touched herself and found that she was warm and wet. With her other hand, she brought the fig down between her legs. She teased the mouth of her cunt with it, gently at first and then with vigor. She could feel the skin of the fig burst. Some of the sticky seed spilled out, adhering to the lips of her cunt and the secret places on the inside of her thighs. She put the fig back in her mouth. Salty sweet. She sucked it dry.
Ava droppedthe spent fruit back onto the shelf, and advanced upon the strawberries. Large, red, and firm, they knew exactly where they belonged. High inside her. She took a few tight steps, placing one stilettoed foot in front of the other, concentrating on the sensation the strawberries created as they slipped and crushed against each other. She thought she could distinguish each ticklish green stem. Then she stopped, leaned back against the shelves, closed her eyes, and pulped.
Adam, the store detective, swallowed hard. He tried to get a better view of Ava from behind the piled-up bags of chips where he'd concealed himself. The lump in his throat traveled down his thick neck and into the top of his tightly buttoned shirt. He had been standing there, behind the snack foods, when she strode into the fruit and vegetable section. He'd seen everything. He knew he ought to have apprehended her when she performed that act with the fig, but he found himself paralyzed with . . . what? A shudder went through him now. He hitched up his khaki trousers and ran an awkward hand over his crewcut. His movements were clumsy. A shiny packet of low-cholesterol, all-natural, blue corn chips crunched to the floor with a clamor that made his heart skip a beat.
If Ava noticed, she didn't let on. Her expression hadn't changed. It was rapturous. She hitched her skirt higher, up above her garter belt. Thrusting two fingers deep into her own soft fruit, she plumped and prodded, soaking them in juices fresh and tangy. She pulled them out slowly and placed them in her mouth, sucking on them between pursed lips. A dollop of strawberry-colored cream adhered to her chin. She fished in her purse for her pocket mirror. Bending down, with her ass pointed in Adam's direction, she held the mirror between her legs and, parting her labia with her fingers, studied herself with intense concentration.
Grapes. This was the thought that struck Ava now.
She selected carefully. Firm fruit in a tight bunch. Large, round, purple ones. She turned around so that she was facing, once again, in Adam's direction and leaned back on the shelf. Opening her legs wide, tracing little circles on her clitoris with one hand, she pushed the grapes up herself with the other, a little at a time, pulling back a bit before each new thrust.The stems scratched and tickled, and she liked that.
Without warning, Ava lifted her head to look straight into the eyes of the man who'd been spying on her all this time. A smile played on her bloodred lips. Of course, she knew he was there. Smirking, she extracted a single, dripping grape and offered it to him. Adam stood frozen as a TV dinner. She shrugged. Puckering her lips, she ingested the grape with a great slurping sound and put the rest of the bunch back on the shelf. Never once releasing his gaze from hers, she felt around behind her until she located a ripe kiwifruit. She held it up in front of her face, still looking hard into his eyes, and dug her fingernails into the gooseberry flesh, rupturing the skin. Green liquid ran down her fingers. Her eyes bored into his. She inserted the ragged fruit into the still-hungry maw between her legs, now running with juices of every description.
Adam took a single, tremulous step in her direction. She pretended not to notice. Calmly, she extracted the kiwifruit and proceeded to eat half. Ava held out the other half to the detective and arched an eyebrow. He was striding toward her now. Taking the fruit. Eating with rapture. Dropping to his knees in front of her.
She widened her stance. In one swift movement, she reached out and, grabbing him by the back of his head, brought his mouth up to her cunt. He gasped.
"Eat me," she commanded.
"No, I . . ." he mumbled, panic in his voice.
"Eat me, you filthy spud," she repeated, threateningly this time.
"I . . ."
Ava fumbled in her bag with her free hand until she found her whip. The compact one she always kept in her purse. She cracked it against the floor next to Adam.
He shook his head, but his thick short hair only excited her as it brushed back and forth against her sensitive and swollen sex. The stubble on his chin grated engagingly on her inner thighs.
"Eat me, you coffee stain. You slice of moldy cheese. You slab of five-day-old horsemeat," she taunted, teasing the back of his neck with the handle of the whip.
"No!" he protested. "No, I won't! And you can't make me! I'm a good boy!"
"Naughty boy," Ava contradicted. "Naughty as extra-large French fries with vinegar and salt. Naughty as Heavenly Chocolate Cake." She yanked him closer.
"Not true!" he gasped, clutching onto her legs with both hands."I'm as unsullied as Sara Lee, as pure as buckwheat pasta. I won't--ouch!--participate in your disgusting little game." She tugged his ear, hard. He whimpered and stopped his struggle.
"All right," he whispered inside her. "All right then. I will eat you. I will. You will be my pâté, my calamari, my pumpkin risotto, my roast and three veg." He ate now, ate like a man who was starving. He devoured her with his tongue, his lips, his teeth, and his hands. He ate every last trace of fig and strawberry and grape and kiwifruit, transformed by her love blender into a warm and salty tropical fruit yogurt.
Ava dropped the whip. Her hand closed on a bunch of bananas as she slid down to the floor. Adam was kneeling between her legs now, still feeding at her goluptious trough. He reached out, grabbed her hands, and pinned them to the floor with his own, forcing her to release the bananas. She raised her head and glared at him. Struggled, but to no avail. He was smirking now. At his own, torturously slow pace, he returned his attention to her cunt. Moaning, she came in his mouth, kicking hard with one foot and sending a high-heeled shoe skimming down the aisle in the direction of the breakfast cereals. Still lapping, he released her hands, which lay limp by her side. He fumbled for the bananas and peeled one. She drew in her breath as he pushed it inside her. He scrambled to his feet, and watched out of the corner of his eye as, with well-timed thrusts, she brought herself to orgasm again. She didn't stop until the banana disintegrated into pap.
"You disgusting bitch," Adam spat, walking toward the vegetables. He returned with an English cucumber. She'd stood up and picked up her whip again.
"What did you say?" Her tone was imperious, if a little shaky. "You little piece of rat-trap salami," she spat huskily.
"You disgusting bitch," he repeated, with slightly less conviction, his eyes on her whip hand. "l despise you more than tinned minestrone, more than, than . . . more than angel food cake mix, more than sliced cheese."
"Take off your trousers, Chiko face," she said, fondling the leather.
"No way, cod feet."
"Take off your trousers, I said, full-fat."
"Bitch. Cunt. Soup bones."
Ava snapped the whip with a sudden movement. The end licked Adam's thigh.
His nostrils flared. He pulled down his trousers, revealing that he wasn't wearing any underwear either. He had a massive erection. Ava gently flicked at it with the whip. She sneered. "So curd cheeks. You've been enjoying this all along."
Adam refused to meet her gaze.
"Don't make me angry."
He scowled as he bent down, ass to her, balancing with his hands against the shelf with the fruit.
"Give me that cucumber.''
Turning his head, he watched as Ava lubricated it in her vagina. Slowly, she insinuated it up his ass. He groaned and twisted with pain and pleasure.
Suddenly, there was a silence. Someone had turned off the Muzak. Ava and Adam froze, as with a slight electronic crackle and a clearing of throat, Sarah's voice came over the PA system."Attention, shoppers. The store is about to close. Please make your final selections and pay for them at the counter. Thank you for your cooperation. Please shop with us again."
Ava removed the cucumber from Adam's anus and tossed it back over into the vegetable section. It landed right next to all the other cucumbers.
"Good toss, cupcake."
"Thanks." They laughed, a little harshly, and quickly straightened their clothing. Ava retrieved her shoe and folded up her whip, putting it back in her purse. "I'd better buy something," she whispered, thinking randomly of coconut milk and small packets of tarragon.
"See you next week, honey pot?" asked Adam.''Usual time, usual place?"
"You bet, sweetpea."
"Bye for now."
"Bye." Adam watched as Ava sauntered down the aisle to the cashier. Sarah looked up at her, wondering how one of Ava's stockings had fallen to her ankle. Hadn't she noticed?
"Good book?" Ava asked Sarah as she handed over her purchases.
"Yes, very," sighed Sarah, her eyes on Ava's bare thigh. "I love romances. Do you?"
"Of course," Ava answered, winking. "Have them all the time."
Meet the Author
Linda Jaivin is a freelance writer and translator. Her journalism has appeared in a wide range of publications, including Australian Rolling Stone and Australian New Woman. Raised in New London, Connecticut, and educated at Brown University, she worked and studied in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China before settling permanently in Sydney, Australia.
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Eat Me by Linda Jarvin is a great book that everyone should read. You can't put it down. I found myself always wanting to read more and the relationshps between the four friends is realistic. It truly is a must read!
This book is a book where you fantize about these things but you never talk about them to anyone. It is a great story with great sexual encounters included. I am giving it to my friends to read.
If you like hearing juicey sex gossip, you will love this book. If you are easily offended read past the first chapter, or skip it all together. It is basically an Australian version of Sex And The City, friends telling their sexual fantasies and adventures.
and have forced my boyfriend to read this book. If men really want to know how women think and what we want, they should start here. I couldn't put it down once I began and only did so to take a cold shower. Must read more Linda Javin.