Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven

By Susan Jane Gilman (Trade Paperback, 2010)
"This is riveting stuff . . . unputdownable."
--O, The Oprah Magazine

In 1986, Susan Jane Gilman and a classmate embarked on a bold trek around the globe starting in the People's Republic of China. At that point, China had been open to independent backpackers for roughly ten minutes. Armed only with the collected works of Nietzsche and Linda Goodman's Love Signs, the two friends plunged into the dusty streets of Shanghai. Unsurprisingly, they quickly found themselves in over their heads--hungry, disoriented, stripped of everything familiar, and under constant government surveillance. Soon, they began to unravel--one physically, the other psychologically. As their journey became increasingly harrowing, they found themselves facing crises that Susan didn't think they'd survive. But by summoning strengths she never knew she had--and with help from unexpected friends--the two travelers found their way out of a Chinese heart of darkness.

UNDRESS ME IN THE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN is a flat-out page-turner, an astonishing true story of naivete, friendship, and redemption told with Susan's trademark compassion and humor.

  • Grand Central Publishing
    • Format: Trade Paperback

    • Price: $13.99 US/$16.99 CAN

    • ISBN-13: 9780446696937

    • On Sale Date: 02/08/2010

    • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

    Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook, Electronic Book

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"This is riveting stuff . . . unputdownable."
--O, The Oprah Magazine

In 1986, Susan Jane Gilman and a classmate embarked on a bold trek around the globe starting in the People's Republic of China. At that point, China had been open to independent backpackers for roughly ten minutes. Armed only with the collected works of Nietzsche and Linda Goodman's Love Signs, the two friends plunged into the dusty streets of Shanghai. Unsurprisingly, they quickly found themselves in over their heads--hungry, disoriented, stripped of everything familiar, and under constant government surveillance. Soon, they began to unravel--one physically, the other psychologically. As their journey became increasingly harrowing, they found themselves facing crises that Susan didn't think they'd survive. But by summoning strengths she never knew she had--and with help from unexpected friends--the two travelers found their way out of a Chinese heart of darkness.

UNDRESS ME IN THE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN is a flat-out page-turner, an astonishing true story of naivete, friendship, and redemption told with Susan's trademark compassion and humor.

Susan Jane Gilman is the author of Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress and Kiss My Tiara. She has written commentary for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and Ms. magazine, among others, and her fiction and essays have received several literary awards. Though she has lived most recently in Geneva, Switzerland, and Washington, D.C., she remains, eternally, a child of New York.
  • On UNDRESS ME IN THE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN:
    "[A] standout travel memoir...Gilman's descriptions of their trials and tribulations crackle with wit."

  • "Youthfully upbeat, Gilman delivers an entertaining memoir...offering the full wallop of disorienting, in-the-moment, transformative travel adventures."

  •  "[An] ambitious and intimate coming-of-age memoir."

  • "UNDRESS ME IN THE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN is such a page-turning, suspenseful adventure you wish you'd gone along, yet so audaciously dangerous you're grateful you didn't. Both hair and consciousness-raising, Gilman's writing is not only wise-cracking but wise."

  • "With her trademark intelligent, irreverent voice Gilman takes us on a journey that feels terrifyingly real, immediate and life-threatening. The woman is no less than a godsend to a reading world that has become too used to lies, half-truth and spin."

  • "Susan Jane Gilman has written a surprising, beautifully suspenseful memoir about a common youthful dream: traveling the world with a backpack and a great deal of spunk. What befalls her and her traveling companion is so unexpected and frightening, I read the entire second half of the book in one sitting. Thank goodness she survived. Thank goodness she can tell a story so well." 

  • "What's the Chinese word for irresistible, bittersweet page-turner? If there isn't one, they'll have to invent it, for Susan Jane Gilman has written a searingly honest, occasionally laugh-out-loud funny tale of innocence lost--and found--abroad. Read this book and revel in your good fortune."

Formats

Product Details

Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Price: $13.99 US/$16.99 CAN
  • Pages: 320
  • Physical Dimensions: 6" x 9"
  • Audio Run Time: 0
  • ISBN-13: 9780446696937
  • On Sale Date: 02/08/2010
Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven