Publisher description for Undress me in the Temple of Heaven / Susan Jane Gilman.
Bibliographic record and links to related information available from the Library of Congress catalog
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They were young, brilliant, and ambitious. They set out to conquer the world. Instead, the world conquered them.
Bestselling author Susan Jane Gilman's riveting new memoir is a hilarious and haunting true adventure. It's filled with the memorable characters, psychological insights, and dazzling humor she's known for. Yet it also displays an accomplished literary eloquence and grandeur of scale that will entertain and enthrall old and new fans alike.
In 1986, fresh out of college, Susan Jane Gilman and her friend Chloe dreamed of hitting the road as modern-day female Kerouacs. Inspired by a placemat at the International House of Pancakes, they mapped out a trip circling the globe, then headed west--to China. At that point in time, the People's Republic had been open to backpackers for barely ten minutes. But Susan and Chloe relished the challenge. Having been told throughout their Ivy League schooling that they were "the future leaders of America," they were eager to boldly take on the world. Unfortunately, the world had other ideas.
Armed only with the collected works of Nietzsche, an astrology book, and more chutzpah than sense, the two quickly found themselves on an epic misadventure. As they trekked off the map into the dusty, alien streets of Communist China, they were quickly stripped of everything familiar. At turns funny, erotic, and harrowing, their journey became a string of poignant encounters with Chinese and Westerners alike. But it soon grew sinister. The two young women found themselves trapped in their own peculiar Heart of Darkness in the middle of rural China, and what began as a giddy expedition became a real-life international thriller that transformed their lives for forever.
UNDRESS ME IN THE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN is an astonishing, real-life story of hubris--and redemption--told with tremendous heart.
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
China -- Description and travel.
China -- Social life and customs -- 20th century.
Gilman, Susan Jane -- Travel -- China.
Gilman, Susan Jane -- Friends and associates.
Backpacking -- China.
College students -- Travel -- China.
Authors, American -- Biography.