This blog is dedicated to the amazing staff at the New Canaan Public Library in New Canaan, Connecticut.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World by Rita Gelman, 2001, * * * *

In a small cemetery deep in the jungle of Borneo, two men climb into a freshly dug hole and retrieve the bones of a long-dead grandmother. An American guest joins the procession from the cemetery to the elaborately decorated village square for a traditional ceremony that will properly send Grandma off on her journey to the next world.  A few years earlier the American guest, Rita Golden Gelman, a children's book author and the mother of two grown children, was living in a comfortable suburban home, dining in elegant restaurants, and attending glamorous parties and only dreamed of traveling to exotic places and experiencing other cultures. When her marriage failed, she decided to live her dream, sold all her possessions and, at  forty-eight, took off to see the world.   Although she's not athletically gifted or independently wealthy, Rita has climbed mountains, paddled up rivers, and subsisted for a year on what many people spend in a few months.  In Tales of a Female Nomad, Rita shares how she has created a spectacular life, filled with interesting people, enlightening experiences, and fascinating adventures.  She's observed orangutans in the rain forests of Borneo, served as an unofficial tour guide in the Galapagos, taught herself the Indonesian language, and forged many lasting cross-cultural friendships.  Dynamic, vivacious, and a marvelous weaver of tales, Rita celebrates her glorious transformation from an unfulfilled suburbanite to a liberated and incredibly self-assured woman of the world. More than a travel memoir, Tales of a Female Nomad is the story of a woman's rebirth which proves beyond a doubt that anyone can cast away the burdens of conventional life at any age and continue — or begin — to thrive.  I know most people rave about Eat, Pray, Love but for those, like me, who never gravitated to that book,  this is a truly remarkable read that deserves recognition.

No comments:

Post a Comment