Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven
They were young, brilliant, and bold. They set out to conquer the world. But the world had other plans for them. Bestselling author Susan Jane Gilman's new memoir is a hilarious and harrowing journey, a modern heart of darkness filled with Communist operatives, backpackers, and pancakes. In... show more
They were young, brilliant, and bold. They set out to conquer the world. But the world had other plans for them. Bestselling author Susan Jane Gilman's new memoir is a hilarious and harrowing journey, a modern heart of darkness filled with Communist operatives, backpackers, and pancakes. In 1986, fresh out of college, Gilman and her friend Claire yearned to do something daring and original that did not involve getting a job. Inspired by a place mat at the International House of Pancakes, they decided to embark on an ambitious trip around the globe, starting in the People's Republic of China. At that point, China had been open to independent travelers for roughly ten minutes. Armed only with the collected works of Nietzsche, an astrological love guide, and an arsenal of bravado, the two friends plunged into the dusty streets of Shanghai. Unsurprisingly, they quickly found themselves in over their heads. As they ventured off the map deep into Chinese territory, they were stripped of everything familiar and forced to confront their limitations amid culture shock and government surveillance. What began as a journey full of humor, eroticism, and enlightenment grew increasingly sinister-becoming a real-life international thriller that transformed them forever. Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven is a flat-out page-turner, an astonishing true story of hubris and redemption told with Gilman's trademark compassion, lyricism, and wit.
Publish date: March 24th 2009
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages no: 320
Edition language: English
, Non Fiction
, Book Club
, Biography Memoir
It's like reading a train wreck. You don't want to hear any more, and yet you can't turn away...
I expected this to be a somewhat amusing adventures of ditzy girls traveling, but my daughter highly recommended it to me, so I read it.This book had a lot more substance than that - perhaps because the author was writing it years after the trip to China, so had some perspective on her 21/22 year ol...
Susan and her friend, Claire, set off for a round-the-world trip, but everything came to a screaming halt when Claire was beset with mental illness. This is the story of Susan’s trip, taken over thirty years ago. I love travel memoirs, but I really liked this one more than most of my recent reads. I...
As Keath Fraser's anthology Bad Trips amply illustrates, travel is fraught with difficulties and unexpected events, of which only some are humorous. Gilman tells the story of her out-of-college, around-the-world trip with Brown University acquaintance "Claire." It starts like any travelogue that rec...
I am such a huge fan of memoirs and this one was a little different as it really became a story with a how it unfolded. You really can't put it down until you know how it ends. I just couldn't imagine going to a foreign country like China without the support of at least a translator, but that is you...