Silk Roads: The Asian Adventures of Clara & Andre Malraux

Axel Madsen, Author Pharos Books $18.95 (299p) ISBN 978-0-88687-433-9
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)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Paperback - 299 pages - 978-1-84885-190-0
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-5040-0874-7
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