Archive - September 8, 2015

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Review — Africa’s Heart by Mark Wentling (Honduras 1967–69)
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Review — Ripples in the Pond by Michael Stake (India 1966–68)
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Novel Writing 101–What Genre Is Your Novel? #1

Review — Africa’s Heart by Mark Wentling (Honduras 1967–69)

Africa’s Heart: The Journey Ends in Kansas by Mark Wentling (PCV Honduras, 1967–69, Togo 1970–73; PC Staff/Togo, Gabon, Niger, 1973–77) A Peace Corps Writers Book, 2015 522 pages $ 16.07 (paperback); $8.99 (Kindle) Review by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993–96) • AFRICA’S HEART: The Journey Ends in Kansas is the last book in a trilogy by Mark Wentling; the first is Africa’s Embrace, followed by Africa’s Release: The Journey Continues. Mark Wentley’s stories revolve around David Peterson, a Peace Corps Volunteer in the imaginary country of Kotoku. The villagers call him Bobovovi and, when they see him ride a moonbeam one magical night, they believe he can commune with their ancestors, but when Bobo disappears into a giant baobab tree they view him as a great spirit. To honor him, they work hard to fulfill Bobo’s many schemes for economic development, and they begin to prosper. Bobo had fallen in . . .

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Review — Ripples in the Pond by Michael Stake (India 1966–68)

  Ripples in the Pond: Reflections of a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from India by Michael Stake (India 1966–68) Inkwell Productions, 2014 371 pages $17.00 (paperback), $8.00 (Kindle) Reviewed by Barbara E. Joe (Honduras 2000–03) • ALL PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS HAVE a story to tell — a highly personal series of adventures to share. Thankfully, many are contributing to an archive about this unique historical experiment, with which fellow Volunteers can compare and contrast with their own experiences. Michael Stake has added his memoir, dating back to Peace Corps’ earliest days, a very readable book about that heady time when the agency was still feeling its way. Much has changed since, including less-ready acceptance of non-college graduates and no more assignments in India, where Stake was sent as a neophyte Agriculture Volunteer and where President Carter’s mother Lillian also served. Stake interrupts his college career to join because of uncertainty . . .

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Novel Writing 101–What Genre Is Your Novel? #1

Novel Writing 101 Session One This short series of blogs will be on writing your novel. Over the next few weeks, I’ll post Novel Writing 101, blogs on writing and publishing your novel. All of you who were smart enough to major in business or international affairs or science while in college now have a chance to take an on-line creative writing course. If you are thinking of writing a novel, here’s a quick course ( no credits, but it is free!) on how you might go about writing your book. We will begin with What Genre Is Your Novel? What Genre Is Your Novel? We’re all drawn to certain genres. In fact, some of us only read one type of novel. What are the books that you read? There are basically two types of fiction when it comes to novels: Genre Fiction and Literary Fiction. We’re going to focus . . .

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