South Asia Journal 10 May 2020
Susan Gillerman Boggs opens a window to life in South Asia in her book “Journey Across Time: A Diplomatic Spouse in South Asia”. She began to live there as a diplomat’s wife in 1985. Boggs take the reader to places which are remote and may be closed to visitors at present time. The book contains graphic descriptions of places that are hilarious and exotic and these adventures are impossible to replicate.
Susan is a native of St. Louis Missouri who began traveling internationally at a young age. She earned a Master of Fine Arts in Musicology from Boston University and King’s College, London, before working for opera companies across the United States in costume design and production. After her marriage to Robert Boggs, a U.S. diplomat in 1986, she spent 14 years living and traveling widely in South Asia.
Reading through the book, one can feel color and pageantry of festivals, religious rites and parades of caparisoned elephants. She ventured into the Himalayas on perilous roads and was welcomed into a remote land of former headhunters. Her dinner dance with a Maharaja, conversation with Mother Teresa, meeting with President Clinton when he visited India are some of the experiences that captivated her. Also she has descriptions of political assassinations, window shattering bombs and her survival in a flood.
With verve and self-deprecating humor, she describes the tribulations of managing a diplomatic household and orchestrating official events despite personal dramas, logistic challenges, and power outages.