Book Club – Tap Dancing on Everest by Mimi Zieman

June 20, 2024 Atlanta Free
CAL_0620 Book Club June 15

The plan was outrageous: A small expedition of four climbers would attempt a new route on the East Face of Mt. Everest, considered the most remote and dangerous side of the mountain, summitted only once before. They would climb without using supplemental oxygen, porter support, or chance for rescue. Mimi Zieman would accompany the climbers as the doctor—and only woman—although she was still in her third year of medical school.

Full of self-doubt, Zieman grappled with whether to go but couldn’t resist the call of the wilderness and mountains. On Everest, when three climbers disappeared during their summit attempt, she reached the knife edge of her limits and dug deeply to fight for the climbers’ lives and to find her voice.

Sparkling with suspense and vulnerability, Tap Dancing on Everest is a true survival story about the risks we take to become our most authentic selves. In this inspiring coming-of-age travel memoir that includes solo hiking through Nepal, Zieman weaves her childhood as the daughter of Jewish immigrants raised in 1970’s New York City, her father a Holocaust survivor, with adventure, medicine, and empowerment. She captures the curiosity and awe of a young woman as she faces down messages to stay small and safe and ventures into the unknown.

Discussion and Q&A with Mimi Zieman, moderated by Mrs. Dena Schusterman.

Purchase Tap Dancing on Everest.


Tap Dancing on Everest” is gorgeous. It is so full of joy, zest and fun and yet with some profound thoughts. Once started you cannot put it down. I hope it is a huge success – it certainly deserves to be.” —Sir Chris Bonington, author of Everest the Hard Way, knighted for his services to mountaineering

With a poetic vision that is staggering in its honesty and beauty, Mimi Zieman brings readers into the heart of a Himalayan ascent, guiding us along some of the unexpected pathways that intense adventures can trace in both body and mind.“—Katie Ives, author of Imaginary Peaks: The Riesenstein Hoax and Other Mountain Dreams

Mimi Zieman’s book is an ideal alchemy of grit and grace. The lessons Zieman learns on the mountain are important lessons for us all. A wild and deeply satisfying journey.” —Emily Rapp Black, New York Times bestselling author of The Still Point of The Turing World

Mimi Zieman is brave, tough, and impressive when on Everest, and lively, engaging, and funny when on the page. After returning from her climb, she says she was “very grateful for ceilings.” I myself, am grateful for her vivid recounting of all her journeys.” — Meg Wolitzer, New York Times bestselling author of The Interestings

The story takes place on a frozen summit but is bound to melt your heart. The courage that drove her to this unlikely adventure permeates her candid recounting of her breathtaking tale.” —Etgar Keret, Award-Winning author of The Seven Good Years.

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