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Finalist for an Oregon Book Award in Creative Nonfiction

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While the Gods Were Sleeping: A Journey Through Love and Rebellion in Nepal

Seal Press, October 2014

Love and marriage brought American anthropologist Elizabeth Enslin to a world she never planned to make her own: living among Brahman in-laws in a remote village in the plains of Nepal. As she faced the challenges of married life, birth, and childrearing in a foreign culture, she discovered as much about human resilience, and the capacity for courage, as she did about herself.

While the Gods Were Sleeping: a Journey Through Love and Rebellion in Nepal tells a compelling story of a woman transformed in the most intimate and unexpected ways. Set against the backdrop of increasing political turmoil in Nepal, Enslin’s story takes us deep into the lives of local women as they claim their rightful place in society, and make their voices heard.

Reviews | Praise


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In Kathmandu bookstores:
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Order signed copies from The Bookloft in Enterprise, Oregon. The store will mail them to you after I sign.

"I am fascinated and haunted by Elizabeth Enslin's story. Nobody else could tell it. It will stay with you and won't let you go."

—Luis Alberto Urrea, author of Hummingbird's Daughter

2014-08-19T12:12:56+00:00

—Luis Alberto Urrea, author of Hummingbird's Daughter

"I am fascinated and haunted by Elizabeth Enslin's story. Nobody else could tell it. It will stay with you and won't let you go."
"This finely written memoir transports the reader into a society on the cusp of social and political transformation....An inspiring and challenging read for activists, rebels and dreamers everywhere."

–Manjushree Thapa, author of Forget Kathmandu

2014-08-19T12:15:52+00:00

–Manjushree Thapa, author of Forget Kathmandu

"This finely written memoir transports the reader into a society on the cusp of social and political transformation....An inspiring and challenging read for activists, rebels and dreamers everywhere."
"A fascinating memoir written with such clarity and honesty that it’s like taking a years-long trip through a little-known part of Nepal, far from the glamour and tourists of Kathmandu...."

Pamela Olson, author of Fast Times in Palestine

2014-08-19T12:17:16+00:00

Pamela Olson, author of Fast Times in Palestine

"A fascinating memoir written with such clarity and honesty that it’s like taking a years-long trip through a little-known part of Nepal, far from the glamour and tourists of Kathmandu...."
"...A love story, an adventure narrative, and an anthropological study in one, written with a global awareness, free of the exoticism we associate with foreigners in Nepal. Sharply observant and full of wisdom.”

–Alden Jones, author of The Blind Masseuse: A Traveler’s Memoir from Costa Rica to Cambodia

2014-08-19T12:18:34+00:00

–Alden Jones, author of The Blind Masseuse: A Traveler’s Memoir from Costa Rica to Cambodia

"...A love story, an adventure narrative, and an anthropological study in one, written with a global awareness, free of the exoticism we associate with foreigners in Nepal. Sharply observant and full of wisdom.”
"...Enslin's honesty refreshes and her glimpses into this tradition-bound world far off the tourist's well worn paths are riveting and haunting. A bold read steeped in pungent realism and lasting inspiration."

–Elyssa East, author of Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town

2014-08-19T12:21:01+00:00

–Elyssa East, author of Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town

"...Enslin's honesty refreshes and her glimpses into this tradition-bound world far off the tourist's well worn paths are riveting and haunting. A bold read steeped in pungent realism and lasting inspiration."
"If the fascinating, important story doesn’t draw you into Enslin’s telling of her time in Nepal, then the beautiful, moving prose will."

Kerry Cohen, author of Seeing Ezra

2014-08-19T12:22:40+00:00

Kerry Cohen, author of Seeing Ezra

"If the fascinating, important story doesn’t draw you into Enslin’s telling of her time in Nepal, then the beautiful, moving prose will."
"...Intelligent without being academic, meaningful without being preachy."
2014-10-12T07:13:26+00:00
"...Intelligent without being academic, meaningful without being preachy."

A portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated to the Rural Health Education Service Trust (RHEST) for projects dedicated to improving women’s reproductive health in rural Nepal