Fresh out of college, who wouldn't want to take a year to travel around the world? All the sights, the people, the food, it seems like the perfect, find-one's-self adventure. This is exactly what Susan Jane Gilman did, along with her friend Claire. The thing is, she wasn't shacking up in the hostiles of Europe, she was in The People's Republic of China, in 1986, before cell phones, before the Internet and before the luxuries of the "modern world". In "Undress me in the Temple of Heave," Gilman recounts her refreshingly honest tales of anxieties, breakdowns, amazing sites, and wonderful journeys.
During their travels, Claire, who starts out upbeat and the energetic enthusiast of the trip, slowly begins to slide into paranoia and hallucinogenic episodes. She's convinced she's being hunted by the Mossad, the CIA, and the FBI because "her father is a very important business man". She deteriorates daily, until its up to Suzie to find a way to get her insane friend back into the United States before Claire sets off any alarms in Communist China.
I love memoirs, you can't make real-life shit like this up, you just can't.