Literary Type

News of writers who have served in the Peace Corps.

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FIRST, YOU GET PISSED by Mary-Ann Tirone Smith (Cameroon)
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Mike Tidwell remembers Moritz Thomsen (Ecuador)
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Looking for a magazine or website to publish your fiction, nonfiction, poetry?
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Michael Meyer’s interview in The Writer’s Chronicle (China)
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CHASING HEISENBERG by Michael Joseloff (Tunisia) climbs Amazon best seller list
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Reading and promoting Peace Corps writers
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Who is Karin McQuillan? (Senegal)
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VULGAR FAVORS by Maureen Orth(Colombia)
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Another RPCV achieves another first (Kenya)
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STORIES MAKE THE WORLD by Stephen Most (Peru)

FIRST, YOU GET PISSED by Mary-Ann Tirone Smith (Cameroon)

  To read Chapter One of Mary-Ann Tirone Smith’s (Cameroon 1965-67) new memoir, First, You Get Pissed, go to her home page mary-anntironesmith.com. Consecutive chapters will appear weekly, every Sunday, along with a link to the previous chapters. Comments are welcome by Mary-Ann and might even evolve into a new spin on a book discussion group. Mary-Ann’s second novel, Lament For A Silver-Eyed Woman, published in 1987, was the first novel written by an RPCV about the Peace Corps. Back in 2012 I asked Mary-Ann how she first got published and she told me — When I finished my second novel,  The Book of Phoebe (the first was really bad), I could not get an agent because I hadn’t been published, and of course, I couldn’t get published because I didn’t have an agent.  Catch-22. Then I read an interview in my local paper with a writer who mentioned that her editor was Kate . . .

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Mike Tidwell remembers Moritz Thomsen (Ecuador)

  Moritz Thomsen (Ecuador 1965-67) died of cholera in Guayaquil, Ecuador on August 28, 1991. In March 1993 in our newsletter Peace Corps Writers we published an essay entitled “Ashes on the River Esmeraldas” written by Mike Tidwell (Zaire 1985-87). Tidwell who had published his Peace Corps story The Ponds of Kalambayi: An African Sojourn that won the RPCV Writers & Readers’ Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award in 1991. Mike’s book, Sargent Shiver told me, was one of the best accounts of Peace Corps service.  •   Ashes on the River Esmeraldas Quite fitting that on my first morning in Quito, Ecuador, there to visit the buried ashes of Moritz Thomsen, I watched a dirty waif wrap his arms around a gringo tourist’s leg, begging for coins, refusing to let go. To free himself, the tourists made the boy fetch like a pathetic dog, throwing some coins toward a trash heap, . . .

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Looking for a magazine or website to publish your fiction, nonfiction, poetry?

  Thanks to a “heads up” from Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978-80) •  NewPages.com is news, information, and guides to literary magazines, independent publishers, creative writing programs, alternative periodicals, indie bookstores, writing contests, and more. Check it out. Also check out these fifty (plus)publications. All the magazines listed below have published essays that appeared in the Table of Contents or the Notable Essays section of the annual anthology BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS. The Georgia Review Established 1947  The American Scholar www.theamericanscholar.org/ The Gettysburg Review http://www.gettysburgreview.com Creative Nonfiction http://www.creativenonfiction.org Prairie Schooner Established: 1926 http://prairieschooner.unl.edu/ The Missouri Review Established: 1978 http://www.missourireview.org River Teeth http://static.ashland.edu//riverteeth/ Tin House http://www.tinhouse.com/index.htm Fourth Genre a journal of creative nonfiction a href=”http://msupress.msu.edu/journals/fg/”> Orion special emphasis on writing about nature/environment http://www.orionmagazine.org/ Image writing about spirituality & the arts www.imagejournal.org Agni Boston University http://www.bu.edu/agni/index.html Granta http://www.granta.com/ The Antioch Review founded 1941 http://antiochcollege.org/antioch_review.html Bellevue Literary Review Special emphasis on illness/health http://www.blreview.org/ The Kenyon . . .

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Michael Meyer’s interview in The Writer’s Chronicle (China)

  The March/April 2018 of The Writer’s Chronicle, the publication of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, carries a long interview entitled “Talking China With Michael Meyer.” Meyer an associate professor of creative nonfiction writing at the University of Pittsburgh, is the author of the recently published  The Road to Sleeping Dragon. His two earlier books are In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China and The Last Days of Old Beijing. Click for a subscription to The Writer’s Chronicle  

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CHASING HEISENBERG by Michael Joseloff (Tunisia) climbs Amazon best seller list

    Last week Cindy Kelly, president of The Atomic Heritage Foundation, came to New York to interview Michael Joseloff (Tunisia 1967-69) about his new eBook Chasing Heisenberg: The Race for the Atom Bomb. She also interviewed Ben Bederson, a physicist who worked at Los Alamos designing ignition switches for the plutonium bomb. The video recordings will be online as part of the foundation’s “Voices of the Manhattan Project,” an oral history archive. Joseloff reports that Chasing Heisenberg is selling well. It hit #1 in Amazon’s print and eBook Molecular Physics category.  It has also led the eBook Math & Science category.  Since the book launched last month, it has clawed its way past more than 98 thousand other books on Amazon’s digital best seller list and is currently ranked #5,960. Michael’s book will be reviewed on our site within the coming weeks.    

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Reading and promoting Peace Corps writers

From John Coyne: In this age of technology where we have fewer and fewer books and everyone walks around town with their eyes glued to iPhones, it does us all good to promote the books written by RPCVs about their experiences as Volunteers and as travelers in the world. To promote the story of the Peace Corps through nonfiction, fiction and poetry is the central reason why Marian Haley Beil and I started Peace Corps Writers & Readers back in the Seventies and continue that mission today on this website. I also take any opportunity I can to write about RPCV books. As a parttime travel writer for a Westchester, New York newspaper, I just published a short piece about five travel books by former Volunteers hoping to encourage sales and spread their knowledge of foreign counties. I’d suggest if you have a favorite RPCV book, try and get it . . .

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Who is Karin McQuillan? (Senegal)

Karin McQuillan (Senegal 1972) writes, I was looking for a new hobby to balance out my work as a psychotherapist. I was an avid mystery reader, and I had two subjects I very much wanted to write about – Africa and wildlife. I’d been in the Peace Corps, and just come back from a wildlife safari, which was a joyful experience, and thought it would be fun to put all those things together. My only problem was that I had never written anything and didn’t have a clue how to write a mystery – so first I had to learn how to write. I was in the Peace Corps in West Africa, and then went to Kenya three times on safari. I read hundreds of books on Africa – culture, history, wildlife, anthropology, fiction. And I subscribed to the Nairobi daily paper, to get detailed local color. As a result, . . .

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VULGAR FAVORS by Maureen Orth(Colombia)

  American Crime Story: Author Maureen Orth On the “Fact-Based Reporting” of Her Book Vulgar Favors   Before Andrew Cunanan shot designer Gianni Versace on the front steps of his Miami home in July 1997, Vanity Fair contributor Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66) was already steeped in the mind of the serial killer. That murder is portrayed in the upcoming FX series American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, which is based on Orth’s book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History. At the time of the murder, Orth had spent two months reporting for Vanity Fair on Cunanan and the events that might have led to him to kill four other people before finally targeting Versace. Even before law enforcement announced that Cunanan was a suspect, Orth and the fact checkers at Vanity Fair had a hunch they knew exactly who had pulled the trigger at Ocean Drive. The full story at: https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/01/still-watching-versace-episode-2-maureen-orth

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Another RPCV achieves another first (Kenya)

Kristen Roupenian (Kenya 2003-05) is the author of the short story “Cat Person”  which became a viral phenomenon after appearing in The New Yorker this month. She just received a seven-figure book deal that  Deborah Treisman, The New Yorker’s fiction editor, commented, “We have not seen anything like that with fiction.” The story in The New Yorker, has become the magazine’s second most-read article in 2017.  Kristen’s collection, You Know You Want This is the first of a two-book deal that includes an untitled novel. In an interview on The New Yorker website, Kristen says, “I always wanted to be a writer, but I spent most of my twenties doing anything and everything else. I did the Peace Corps in Kenya, and I was a nanny for a while, and then I spent a long time in graduate school, studying African literature. It’s only in the past five years that I’ve really . . .

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STORIES MAKE THE WORLD by Stephen Most (Peru)

  Stories Make the World: Reflections on Storytelling and the Art of the Documentary by Stephen Most (Peru 1965-67) Berghalin Books 288 pages June, 2017 $34.95 (paperback), $150.00 (hardcover) • Since the beginning of human history, stories have helped people make sense of their lives and their world. Today, an understanding of storytelling is invaluable as we seek to orient ourselves within a flood of raw information and an unprecedented variety of supposedly true accounts. In Stories Make the World, award-winning screenwriter Stephen Most offers a captivating, refreshingly heartfelt exploration of how documentary filmmakers and other storytellers come to understand their subjects and cast light on the world through their art. Drawing on the author’s decades of experience behind the scenes of television and film documentaries, this is an indispensable account of the principles and paradoxes that attend the quest to represent reality truthfully. Stephen Most (Peru 1965-67) is an author, playwright, . . .

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