Female Nomad and Friends: Tales of Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World

Female Nomad and Friends: Tales of Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World

3.8 7
by Rita Golden Gelman
     
 

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In 1987, Rita, newly divorced, set out to live her dream. She sold all her possessions and became a nomad. She wrote a book about her ongoing journey and, in 2001, insisted on putting her personal e-mail address in the last chapter—against all advice. It turned out to be a fortuitous decision. She has met thousands of readers, stayed in their homes, and sat

Overview

In 1987, Rita, newly divorced, set out to live her dream. She sold all her possessions and became a nomad. She wrote a book about her ongoing journey and, in 2001, insisted on putting her personal e-mail address in the last chapter—against all advice. It turned out to be a fortuitous decision. She has met thousands of readers, stayed in their homes, and sat around kitchen tables sharing stories and food and laughter.

In this essay collection, Gelman includes her own further adventures, as well as those of writers and readers telling tales of the shared humanity they experienced in their travels. The stories are funny and sad, poignant and tender, familiar and bizarre. They will make you laugh and cry and maybe even send you off on your own adventure. Also included are fabulous international recipes such as vegetarian dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), chiles en nogada (stuffed poblano chiles topped with a white cream sauce with walnuts and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds), and ho mok (an extraordinary fish-coconut custard from Thailand). Happy reading—and bon appétit, selamat makan, buen provecho!

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Rita serves up a tasty smorgasbord of stories—funny, heartwarming, and quirky. These tales remind us of what we seek in our own life's journey: a meaningful connection with people we meet and joy in finding new friends in unexpected places. Whether you choose to stay home or start packing, these stories will stir you."
—Maya Frost, author of The New Global Student
 
“Charming - a wonderful gift for your nomadic friends. The book will inspire you to travel, to cook, and, to get your own stories committed to the page!”
—Julie Conover, PassportToAdventure.com, Host & Producer
 
“Rita and friends take you on a virtual and culinary global adventure that is sure to evoke a range of emotions. A must-read for both the armchair and active traveler.”—Beth Whitman, author of Wanderlust and Lipstick guides for women travelers.
 
“Rita Golden Gelman’s book pulsates with life’s flavors—both in the stories and the recipes that accompany them. Remarkably, all royalties will be donated through two Rotary clubs to provide scholarships for young adults in a Delhi slum.    As a Rotarian myself, I salute Rita and savor her book. So will you.”
—Karin Treiber, PhD, Rotarian, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“Thanks to Rita and her friends, the world just got a little smaller.  This inspirational book simultaneously illustrates how large and small our global community has become.  By sharing recipes, customs, and lives, we are ushered through an exotic world of experiences.”
—John O. Hishmeh, Executive Director, Council on Standards for International Educational Travel

“These wonderfully poignant stories speak to the inner-nomad in all of us, reminding us of the joy and warmth we feel when sharing laughter, tears, and meals across cultures.”
—Sara LaRosa, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Tonga 2006-2008

Kirkus Reviews
Children's-book author Gelman (Doodler Doodling, 2004, etc.) follows up Tales of a Female Nomad (2001) with a collaborative collection of essays-and a smattering of recipes-celebrating travel, diversity and human connection. In the introduction, the author writes that she has lived without a fixed address and with minimal possessions, traveling the globe since 1987. While Female Nomad depicted the first 15 years of that unfettered lifestyle, the sequel is constructed of essays submitted to her website in response to an open call for stories about "connecting" and "risk-taking." The result is a mixed bag of (mostly Eurocentric) tales from around the world, which largely affirm a sense of human decency, generosity and community beyond the borders of language or political affiliation. Among other experiences, the stories chronicle bonding with Vietnamese women over primitive laundering techniques; sharing a boisterous, vodka-fueled breakfast of cow-feet soup in Armenia; considering a Ugandan's offer to cry with an American volunteer overwhelmed by the unfairness of life in the third world. Some of the essays are humorous, such as the recollection of dodging a potentially dangerous situation with a Peruvian enticed by a novelty "one-million-dollar bill." Some are melancholy, such as one woman's playful "marriage" to an Iraqi man shortly before the U.S. invasion threw the country into chaos. While most of the essays take place in exotic locales, some are domestic, with strangers lending helping hands or women opening themselves up to unexpected, unconsummated intimacies. The brevity of the pieces-most lasting only a couple pages-works for the simpler or funny stories, but the more serious ones feel stunted. The strength of the writing varies considerably, with the contributors a mix of amateurs and professionals, but all feature an appealing sincerity. Scattershot pieces held together by context and emotionalism. Tie-in with author's lecture schedule. Agent: Elaine Markson/Elaine Markson Agency

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307588012
Publisher:
Crown/Archetype
Publication date:
06/01/2010
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
531,829
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

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Female Nomad and Friends: Tales of Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Tribute_Books_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Connection is the self-proclaimed theme of Rita Golden Gelman's life. She hearkens back to a time of yore by calling herself a modern-day nomad. In Female Nomad and Friends, she is in hunter-gather mode collecting recipes from around the globe via submissions to her website. They are meticulously blended with real-life stories of 41 women who take a leap of faith and reach out to another human being - whether across town or across the world. Every hint of zest is appreciated and recognized in this culinary community of over 25 ethnic dishes. Golden Gelman upped the ante even further by donating all of the proceeds of the book to a scholarship fund. It will enable high school graduates in the slums of India to attend vocational schools. The funds are being administered through a Maryland chapter of the Rotary Club. With a soul full of wanderlust, she may not have a permanent address, but Golden Gelman certainly does not equate the absence of hearth and home with a lack of responsibility. The book is divided into five sections: Connecting, Mixed Messages, Language, Passion and Food. The recipes range from the familiar - Grandma's fried chicken - to the exotic - sun-dried worms. However, the downright peculiar are thankfully omitted (Filipino head of the dog, anyone?). Among the accompanying stories, there are several stand-outs. One woman experiences the ultimate in hospitality when an elderly woman offers to carry her on her back across a flooded Vietnamese street. Another answers a want ad for a housekeeper and discovers a lonely Alaskan looking for a wife. A Swedish exchange student experiences her first Thanksgiving, Texas-style. An American schoolteacher in France is invited to the sumptuous table of her student's family. An orphaned Iraqi girl makes a connection with an American woman before and after the 2003 invasion. A visiting couple who miss their ferry stop are rowed upstream against the current by a kind native in Paraguay. However, many dangers exist for women traveling alone, and these perils are not ignored. One woman is raped by a hotel manager in India and later returns home to discover that she is pregnant. Another drinks the water on a South Pacific island and succumbs to dysentery. Overall, women the world over are made up of the same ingredients, it's how they are blended that mark who they are.
ALG64 More than 1 year ago
I loved the original book - it was such an adventure and so well told. This sequel just didn't cut it for me. . . I put it down after just a few pages....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Must read
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