Silk Roads: The Asian Adventures of Andre and Clara Malraux

Silk Roads: The Asian Adventures of Andre and Clara Malraux

by Axel Madsen

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Clara Malraux was 25 and her husband Andre 22 when in 1923 they sailed from Marseilles to Indochina. They planned to travel into the Cambodian jungle, locate the ruins of Banteai Srey (a temple), steal a few examples of Khmer temple art and continue on to New York, where they would deliver their ill-gotten treasures to a dealer, pocket the profits and sail home. The thefts were discovered before the couple left Asia, and they were put under house arrest; what actually took place on that and subsequent voyages is the subject of this book. Madsen also discusses, tangentially, French colonialism and the spread of Communist ideology in Asia. Much as they yearned to, the Malrauxs never succeeded in visiting the fabled city of Samarkand through which passed the Silk Road, the trade route that for centuries linked China with the West. Madsen ( Gloria and Joe ) lets his affection for both husband and wife shape his account. Though the marriage didn't last, its story entertains, as do details of the Malrauxs' individual activities after the divorce. Photos not seen by PW. (June)
Library Journal - Library Journal
In October 1923 the Malrauxs went to Cambodia to obtain Khmer art figures for sale in New York. This trip and the Malraux's subsequent adventures in French Indochina through the spring of 1926 make up most of the book. The last three chapters cover the Malrauxs' other travels, a summary of the rest of their lives, and an epilogue to the Indochina adventure. Much of this book is based on Clara Malraux's Memoirs (Farrar, 1967). Madsen is the author of many popularly written biographies, including Malraux ( Morrow, 1976), from which many passages in the current book are taken almost verbatim. While written in a reportorial style, Silk Roads is often rambling and digressive and is for comprehensive collections only. A more political study of the Malrauxs in these years is Walter G. Langlois's Andre Malraux: The Indochine Adventure ( LJ 5/15/66).-- Kathleen Farago, Lakewood P.L., Ohio
Other young writers wash dishes or pump gas while they wait for fortune and fame. These two went to Indochina to steal artifacts and sell them to Americans. It all worked out quite differently, but was an adventure even so. Includes 25 black-and-white photographs. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

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World Almanac Books
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