Literary Type

News of writers who have served in the Peace Corps.

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PROVERBIAL LAUGHTER OF THE WORLD by Nicholas Hosel (Afghanistan)
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Mark Walker Comment on Paul Theroux’s Insights On Self-Radicalization
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Paul Theroux in The NY Times (Malawi)
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Ron Arias (Peru) launches THE WETBACK AND OTHER STORIES
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Ellen Urbani’s dedication to stop Trump (Guatemala)
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The Theroux Boys
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John James Quinn (Zaire) publishes academic book on Sub-Saharan Africa
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RPCV journalist Christopher Miller (Ukraine)
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RPCV author Marne Mueller gives talk — “The Color of Citizenship: The Impact of the Japanese-American Internment during World War II”
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Peace Corps Writer Awards for 2016

PROVERBIAL LAUGHTER OF THE WORLD by Nicholas Hosel (Afghanistan)

Nicholas Hoesl is an RPCV from Afghanistan (1965–67), a community pharmacist, toastmaster, national keynote speaker, columnist, broadcaster, lecturer, and global volunteer. He has recently published his fourth book, which is about host country sayings. The book is entitled: Proverbial Laughter of the World: Afghanistan to Zimbabwe On his website The Laughter Doc he writes: Laughter is the universal language. For thousands of years proverbs with laughter have remained a joyful part of communication. From countries all over the globe, including the rich cultures of Africa, Arabia, Persia and Native America, Proverbial Laughter takes popular proverbs and turns them into tidbits of contemporary wit, wisdom and laughter. All the world’s a stage. Western culture says, “Know yourself.” The Eastern says, “Become yourself.” The world is ready for a meeting of these two in Proverbial Laughter of the World.  

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Mark Walker Comment on Paul Theroux’s Insights On Self-Radicalization

Paul Theroux’s Insights On Self-Radicalization By Mark D. Walker (Guatemala 1971-73) • Theroux’s article is one of most informative and insightful pieces written on the self-radicalization to terrorist groups like ISIS and the Taliban. He harkens back to his own Peace Corps experience as a young volunteer unaware of what he was getting into by supporting an opposition group in Malawi. He compares this experience to that of John Walker Lindh who has been called a traitor when his idealism, according to Theroux, is deep in the American experience. Theroux compares his naivety at 24 with that of Lindh who converted to Islam when he was 16 and after studying at a madrasa in Pakistan joined the Afghan Army in 2001.  In the case of Theroux’s misdeeds he was threatened with detention, expelled from the country as an undesirable alien, thrown out of the Peace Corps and fined. In both cases . . .

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Paul Theroux in The NY Times (Malawi)

  Pardon the American Taliban By PAUL THEROUX NY Times, OCT. 22, 2016 In the mid-1960s a young American teacher in a small central African country became involved with a group of political rebels — former government ministers mostly — who had been active in the struggle for independence. They had fallen out with the authoritarian prime minister, objecting to his dictatorial style. The country was newly independent, hardly a year old. The men advocated democratic elections and feared that the prime minister would declare himself leader for life in a one-party state. Fluent in the local language, obscure because he was a teacher in a bush school, and easily able to travel in and out of the country on his United States passport, the American performed various favors for the rebels, small rescues for their families, money transfers, and in one effort drove a car over 2,000 miles on back . . .

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Ron Arias (Peru) launches THE WETBACK AND OTHER STORIES

  This is from today’s LaBloga:   The Wetback and Other Stories marks Ron Arias’ (Peru 1963-65) return to fiction after a career in non-fiction reporting from across the globe for People Magazine. The book brings together fourteen previously published stories, along with two new pieces. Arte Publico Press publishes The Wetback and Other Stories. Here’s a podcast of Arias discussing the collection https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/larb-radio-hour/id998390884?mt=2 • The Wetback and Other Stories Ron Arias (Peru 1963–65) Arte Publico Press September 2016 160 pages $17.95 (paperback)  

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Ellen Urbani’s dedication to stop Trump (Guatemala)

In an effort to speak truth to power in the way I am best able, I wrote and contributed a short personal essay to a movement called Dedicate Your No-Trump Vote. While this started as a collection of stories from Pulitzer Prize-winning and bestselling novelists, it quickly expanded to include not just writers but a military personnel, teachers, community activists, etc — all of whom are thinking beyond the individual and dedicating their votes as acts of hope for the future.  If you’re inclined to share, my dedication is here: https://dedicateyournotrumpvote.blogspot.com/2016/10/ellen-urbanis-dedication.html  Though it often feels I’m preaching to the choir, I also know that every voice raised is a chance to potentially reach someone who may not yet have considered a particular perspective that might give him/her pause. Thank you, Ellen Urbani (Guatemala 1991-93)   Monday, October 3, 2016 When I was 23, I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala, a country then . . .

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The Theroux Boys

Paul Theroux’s (Malawi 1963-65) son Louis Theroux’s documentary on Jimmy Savile will be broadcasted on Sunday 2 October at 21:00 on BBC Two Louis says, “I was at my wedding in July 2012 when I learned that the DJ and TV presenter Jimmy Savile was to be unmasked as a sexual predator in an upcoming ITV documentary. At that time, I imagined I knew Savile reasonably well. I’d made my own documentary about him in 2000, filming with him for about two weeks at his various homes around Britain. I’d stayed in contact for several years after the film went out, making occasional trips up to Leeds. There was always a professional pretext – a DVD commentary to record, a new series to promote – but the visits also had a social dimension. They usually involved a meal at a local restaurant and sometimes an overnight stay at his penthouse . . .

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John James Quinn (Zaire) publishes academic book on Sub-Saharan Africa

  In late 2015 John James Quinn published Global Geopolitical Power and African Political and Economic Institutions: When Elephants Fight, an academic book on sub-Saharan Africa political and economic institutions from an international relations perspective. Quinn teaches political science at Truman State University (that’s in Missouri) and is editor of the McNair Scholarly Review. What is most impressive about the book is the price: Hardback $110.00; eBook $104.50 Here’s the blurb on Amazon about the book. Global Geopolitical Power and African Political and Economic Institutions: When Elephants Fight describes the emergence and nature of the prevailing African political and economic institutions in two periods. In the first, most countries adopted political and economic institutions that funneled significant levels of political and economic power to the political elites, usually through one- or no-party (military) political systems, inward-oriented development policies, and/ or state-led—and often state-owned—industrialization. In the second period, most countries adopted institutions that . . .

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RPCV journalist Christopher Miller (Ukraine)

  Alana DeJoseph (Mali 1992-94) who is working on a film about the Peace Corps entitled, The Towering Task,  has just been filming PCVs in Ukraine and alerted me to a former Peace Corps Volunteer in the Ukraine, Chris Miller (Ukraine 2010-2012). Alana writes, “Miller is a highly respected journalist in Ukraine now and does much reporting on the conflict in the east of the country.”   As a PCV, Miller was a Youth Developer Volunteer. He taught, as he writes on Linked In, “English, volunteerism, journalism, IT, healthy living, employment skills, teamwork and sports to Ukrainian youth. I was responsible for the organization of seminars, retreats and camps specializing in sustainable teaching of healthy lifestyles topics by Ukrainian nationals and future PCVs, as well as NGO development. I organized and instructed clubs for local youth, including English clubs, journalism clubs and sports clubs.”   Alana was kind enough to forward to . . .

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RPCV author Marne Mueller gives talk — “The Color of Citizenship: The Impact of the Japanese-American Internment during World War II”

  On Sunday, September 18, at 4pm, the Hotchkiss Library in  Sharon, Conn. will present, ‘The Color of Citizenship: The Impact of the Japanese-American Internment during World War II.” Author and Sharon resident Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65) will relate her experiences growing up as a Caucasian with her parents in the Tule Lake camp in northern California. A theme of Mueller’s talk is the relationship she sees between the internment camps and the current political climate. Refreshments. Registration preferred. For further information or to reserve a seat, please call the library, 860 364-5041.

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Peace Corps Writer Awards for 2016

  The Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award First given in 1990 this Award was named to honor Paul Cowan, a Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Ecuador. Cowan wrote The Making of An Un-American about his experiences as a Volunteer in Latin America in the sixties. A longtime activist and political writer for The Village Voice, Cowan died of leukemia in 1988. Winner of the 2016 Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award  The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World  by Steven Radelet (Western Samoa 1981-83) • The Maria Thomas Fiction Award This Award is named after the novelist Maria Thomas [Roberta Worrick (Ethiopia 1971–73)] who was the author of a well-reviewed novel and two collections of short stories all set in Africa. She lost her life in August, 1989, while working in Ethiopia for a relief agency. She went down in the plane crash that killed Congressman Mickey Leland of Texas. Winner of the Maria Thomas Fiction . . .

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