Book Reviews

A look at books published by fellow RPCVs that hopefully you will want to read.

1
Review: RPCV Kirsten Johnson’s novel Footsteps
2
Review: TWO YEARS IN POLAND by Lawrence Biddall (Poland)

Review: RPCV Kirsten Johnson’s novel Footsteps

Patricia Taylor Edmisten, who served in the Peace Corps in Peru from 1962 to 1964, is an author herself. She has published Nicaragua Divided: La Prensa, Chamorro Legacy, and Wild Women with Tender Hearts, which was the winner of the 2007 Peace Corps Writers’ Award for poetry. Patricia reviews Kirsten Johnson’s novel Footsteps about life in Kenya. • Footsteps by Kirsten Johnson (Kenya 1982–84) Plain View Press July 2009 248 pages $18.95 Reviewed by Patricia Taylor Edmisten (Peru 1962–64) It’s easy to forget that Footsteps is a novel. Buoyed by an enormous heart, Kirsten Johnson shares with her readers the injustice and inequities she witnessed while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya in 1982. In particular, she sheds light on the unique burdens borne by girls and women: lack of education; pregnancies before reproductive organs mature; the absence of skilled midwives; unsanitary birthing conditions; too little breast milk . . .

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Review: TWO YEARS IN POLAND by Lawrence Biddall (Poland)

  • Two Years in Poland, and Other Stories: A Sixty-Seven-Year-Old Grandfather Joins the Peace Corps and Looks Back on His Life by Lawrence Brane Siddall (1997–99) Pelham Springs Press 2008 255 pages $16.95 Reviewed by David Gurr (Ethiopia 1962–64) • In Poland, Lawrence Brane Siddall taught English in the town of Swidnica, pronounced as shvid-NEET-sa, according to the author. He was the only PCV assigned to that city of 65,000 in southwest Poland, and replaced a Volunteer who had taught English the previous two years at the secondary school to which he was assigned. Parts I and III of his book are devoted to his experience in Swidnica, travel to major cities in Poland, one of them as part of his in-service training, as well as a six-week summer project organized by another Volunteer followed by a vacation in Russia. Sandwiched in between these two parts is Part II, . . .

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