Susan Jane Gilman's recounting of a trip she took to Asia in 1986 has an edge-of-your-seat quality not common to travel memoirs. She and fellow Brown graduate Claire (not her real name) undertake a year-long trip around the world, but it doesn't turn out as expected. From the moment they arrive in Hong Kong they are beset with culture shock, homesickness and illness, followed by a tragic turn of events in China that puts them both at risk. When that happens, Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven (Grand Central, 304 pp., $23.99) crosses into thriller territory.
About Susan Jane
Causes Susan Jane Gilman Supports
Doctors Without Borders, Southern Poverty Law Center, Planned Parenthood, Natural Resources Defense League, Joint Distribution Committee