Literary Type

News of writers who have served in the Peace Corps.

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EVERYWHERE STORIES: VOLUME III edited by Clifford Garstang (South Korea)
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Richard Wiley (Korea) publishes TACOMA STORIES
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Rachel Cowan (Ecuador), innovative rabbi, is dead at 77
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Weekend Book Quiz
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Winner of the 2017 Maria Thomas Fiction Award
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A GAME IN THE SUN AND OTHER STORIES by John Coyne (Ethiopia)
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NATURE’S POETRY by Eldon Katter (Ethiopia)
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Emily Arsenault’s (South Africa) new mystery — THE LAST THING I TOLD YOU
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“Downsizing Books” by John Coyne (Ethiopia)
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Jenny Phillips (Lesotho), writer and award-winning filmmaker, dies at 76

EVERYWHERE STORIES: VOLUME III edited by Clifford Garstang (South Korea)

  Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet, Volume III Edited by Clifford Garstang (South Korea 1976-77) Press 53 Publisher October 2018 196 pages $19.95 (paperback)   The third anthology in the series travels to 20 more countries Press 53 announces the publication on October 16, 2018, of Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet, Volume III, an anthology of 20 stories by 20 authors set in 20 countries. With a theme of “It’s an Adventurous World,” this exciting addition to the Everywhere Stories series, edited by award-winning author Clifford Garstang, takes readers on a journey around the globe: to a mysterious discovery in Mongolia, to an expedition in the Australian Outback, to revolution in Chile, and to more stories in countries on every continent. Contributors include Ben Berman [Zimbabwe 1998–2000] (Strange Borderlands, Figuring in the Figure), J. Thomas Brown (The Land of Three Houses), E. Shaskan Bumas . . .

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Richard Wiley (Korea) publishes TACOMA STORIES

Richard Wiley (Korea 1967–69) has a  new collection of stories from and about his hometown, Tacoma, Washington. As Richard writes, My first job was as a bicycle repairman when I was fourteen years old. I was fired pretty quickly for not being able to repair bicycles. I was a bartender at the Old St. Louis Tavern when I was twenty. After that, I worked at Pat’s Tavern, site of the first of my Tacoma Stories, from which all of the following stories stream. In the first story, Becky Welles, daughter of the famous thespian, Orson, says the following: “Do you think a town can act as a hedge against the unabated loneliness of the human heart…? The entire idea for this collection came out of one night’s drinking at Pat’s Tavern back in 1968 (it was really 1967, but I changed the date). Originally, I peopled this story with folks I had . . .

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Rachel Cowan (Ecuador), innovative rabbi, is dead at 77

  Rabbi Rachel Cowan in 2006. She converted to Judaism in 1980 and became a leader who emphasized egalitarian small-group circles rather than large temple services. Photo: Mat Szwajkos/Getty Images byJoseph Berger  New York Times Sept 1, 2018 • Rabbi Rachel Cowan, a Mayflower descendant who converted to Judaism and became a prominent innovator in three nontraditional movements in that faith, died on Friday at her home in Manhattan. She was 77. The cause was brain cancer, her family said. Rabbi Cowan was a leader in helping couples navigate the shoals of mixed marriage, injecting contemplative practices like meditation and mindfulness into religious life, and designing “healing services” to comfort the sick and dying. After she learned of her cancer more than two years ago, her friends held twice-weekly services of songs, psalms and readings for her, and a flavor of that so-called healing movement was evident in one service. . . .

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Weekend Book Quiz

  Weekend Book Quiz Who wrote the books with the first sentences listed below, and that are based on their Peace Corps Experience, Travel, and Living the Life of an RPCV? • #1. They took us in the Land Rover, Mike and me, with Kim Buck driving. We had planned to leave that morning, as it was a good four hours’ drive, although it was only about sixty miles from Mbeya. #2. I got my Peace Corps application at the post office in Red Bluff, California, put it on the table in the kitchen, and walked around it for ten days without touching it, as though it were primed to detonate—as indeed it was—trying to convince myself that for a forty-eight-year-old farmer the idea of Peace Corps service was impractical and foolhardy. #3. The widow opens my door without knocking. A trail of Flying Horse-brand cigarette smoke enters behind her. . . .

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Winner of the 2017 Maria Thomas Fiction Award

  Dead Cow Road: Life on the Front Lines of an International Crisis by Mark Wentling (Honduras 1967–69, Togo 1970–73; PC Staff: Togo, Gabon, Niger 1973–77) Page Publishing March 2017 506 pages $24.95 (paperback), $9.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Bob Criso (Nigeria 1966-67, Somalia 1967-68) •   Dead Cow Road is an ambitious work of historical fiction told through the eyes of a Foreign Service worker assigned to Somalia during the political struggles and famine crisis in 1992. Mark Wentling combines real and fictional events with real and fictional characters to weave an engrossing and complex tale unfolding during a chaotic time in a desperate country. With over 45 years experience living and working in Africa with the Peace Corps, USAID, US Foreign Service, Care and World Vision, Wentling is well-equipped to be writing about it. He has the rare distinction of having lived or worked in all fifty-four African countries. Ray Read . . .

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A GAME IN THE SUN AND OTHER STORIES by John Coyne (Ethiopia)

  I set this story, “Game in the Sun” —  one of three “Peace Corps” stories in my collection of ten short stories in this book — in Dessie, Ethiopia. At the time — and this was about 1965 —  there was an American couple running a religious mission in Dessie. I knew them slightly, and they were well known to the PCVs in the town. They were, I believe, a a nice couple and nothing like the missionaries in this story. Also, to my recollections, there were no Peace Corps couples in Dessie. — JC •  A Game in the Sun Betsy was not allowed to play croquet with her husband and the Reverend, so she sat in the shade of the trees at the top of the mound. The mound overlooked a lush African rainforest which grew thick and dense to the edges of the Mission Compound. The . . .

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NATURE’S POETRY by Eldon Katter (Ethiopia)

      Nature’s Poetry  is an engaging, though none too rigorous, informal compilation of the author’s poetry and art. Black and white illustrations appear on almost every page. The nature drawings are snapshots from the author’s sketchbooks, some dating back to his Indiana youth and others recording his experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Harar, Ethiopia in the 1960s. Eldon was Chair of the Department of Art Education and Crafts and Professor of Art Education at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. He was also editor of SchoolArts magazine for 11 years and president of the National Art Education Association. In the 1950s he taught art in Park Ridge, Illinois and later in Needham, Massachusetts. As Peace Corps volunteers in the 1960s, Eldon and his wife, Adrienne, taught at a teacher training school in Harar, Ethiopia and then worked for the Teacher Education in East Africa Project in Kampala, Uganda. . . .

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Emily Arsenault’s (South Africa) new mystery — THE LAST THING I TOLD YOU

    Emily Arsenault’s (South Africa 2004-06) new novel is a psychological thriller about the murder of a psychologist in a quiet New England town and his former patient whose unreliable thread will keep you guessing. until the shocking end. I hear myself whispering. Not again. Not again. Why did I ever come back here? Surely because of you. Because I thought of something I’d always meant to tell you. Because you were the only one I ever really wanted to tell it to… Therapist Dr. Mark Fabian is dead—bludgeoned in his office. But that doesn’t stop former patient Nadine Raines from talking to him—in her head. Why did she come back to her hometown after so many years away? Everyone here thinks she’s crazy. And she has to admit—they might have good reason to think so. She committed a shockingly violent act when she was sixteen, and has never really . . .

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“Downsizing Books” by John Coyne (Ethiopia)

  When I was growing up on a farm in Illinois all six of us kids (I was the youngest) waited for the Saturday Evening Post to arrive in Wednesday’s mail so we’d have stories to read over the weekend. After dinner, whichever of my three sisters was washing the dishes that night would prop a book up against the kitchen window so she could read as she scrubbed. Since my job was to dry, I couldn’t pull off that trick. But I loved books too, and before I learned to read, my oldest sister would read to me whatever Jane Austen or Brontē novel she had gotten from the village library. We read so many books, in fact, that soon my older siblings had gone through everything deemed “age appropriate” by the librarian, Mrs. Butterfield. So one day she refused to let my sister Eileen check out the book she’d chosen. My mother, an . . .

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Jenny Phillips (Lesotho), writer and award-winning filmmaker, dies at 76

  Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Susan Zawalich. • Jenny Phillips, writer and award-winning filmmaker, dies at 76 by Bryan Marquard Boston Globe staff JULY 13, 2018 Mrs. Phillips sought Fidel Castro’s help in securing documents of Ernest Hemingway. In an Alabama prison, one of her several far-flung outposts of compassion and creativity, Jenny Phillips recorded her conversations with lifers and death row inmates — those discarded in “the dustbin of humanity,” she would later say. Back home in Concord, she played the tapes as she drove, letting their voices fill her car and spark her imagination. “They wanted people to know their stories so they wouldn’t be forgotten,” Mrs. Phillips, who turned those initial encounters into an award-winning documentary, recalled a few years later, in 2008. “They also wanted their stories to somehow help other people. As well as a wish to be remembered, there’s a wish to be useful.” Drawn . . .

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