Peace Corps Writers

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Press 53 Editor Clifford Garstang (Korea 1976-77) Looking for Short Fiction
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Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978-80) Publishes "Bitter River" in The Baffler
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Steven Radelet (Samoa 1981-83) Publishes The Great Surge:The Ascent of the Developing World
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Kent Haruf's (Turkey 1965-67) Last Novel Remembered
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Ron Arias (Peru 1963-64) in Front of the Camera
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Review in WSJ of Martin Puryear (Sierra Leone 1964-66) Exhibition at Morgan Library
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Novelist David C. Edmonds (Chile 1963-65) Wins Two Book Awards
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In Laurence Leamer’s (Nepal 1964-66) Library
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REVIEW — Renewable by Eileen Flanagan (Botswana 1984-86)
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Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65) Learning About Africa

Press 53 Editor Clifford Garstang (Korea 1976-77) Looking for Short Fiction

Everywhere Stories Volume II: More Short Fiction from a Small Planet Ends on 12/31/2015 Call for submissions! Following the success of Everywhere Stories Volume I, we are now preparing Volume II for publication in the Fall of 2016. Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet (Edited by Clifford Garstang, published by Press 53 in Fall 2014) is an anthology of short fiction (short stories of any length, short shorts, and flash) set around the globe, including the United States. Volume I consisted of 20 stories by 20 authors set in 20 countries. Volume II will consist of around 20 fictions, with no more than one story set in any one country. Included stories will be a mix of previously published and new work. Each contributor will be entitled to a contributor copy and author discounts on additional copies. Deadline for submissions: December 31, 2015. Writers may submit more than one story. What . . .

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Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978-80) Publishes "Bitter River" in The Baffler

The current issue of The Baffler has a new story by Mark Jacobs ( Paraguay 1978-80). Mark is the winner of the Peace Corps Writers Maria Thomas Award for his novel Stone Cowboy. A former Foreign Service officer, he has published more than 100 stories in magazines including The Atlantic, The Southern Humanities Review, The Idaho Review, The Southern Review, and The Kenyon Review. His story “How Birds Communicate” won the Iowa Review Fiction Prize in 1998. His five books include three novels and two collections of short stories. His story-“Bitter River”– can be found at: http://thebaffler.com/stories/bitter-river-mark-jacobs The Baffler, est. 1988, is a printed and digital magazine of art and criticism appearing three times annually-spring, summer, and fall. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it is available in the U.S. states and abroad. Mark also has a story “Garbage Can” coming out shortly from Carolina Quarterly.

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Steven Radelet (Samoa 1981-83) Publishes The Great Surge:The Ascent of the Developing World

Steven Radelet  (Western Samoa 1981-83) holds the Donald F. McHenry Chair in Global Human Development at Georgetown University, is an economic adviser to the president of Liberia, and  the author of Emerging Africa: How 17 Countries Are Leading the Way. He  has just written a new book, The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World, published last month, that takes the position that “never before have so many people in so many developing countries made this much progress.” His book states that since the end of the Cold War, the development of new technologies, globalization, courageous local leadership, and, in some cases, good fortune have combined to dramatically improve the fate of hundred of millions of people in poor countries around the world. Early in his book, Radelet quotes another famous Peace Corps writer, Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65), who declared in 2013 in a piece for Barron’s that “I . . .

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Kent Haruf's (Turkey 1965-67) Last Novel Remembered

The Wall Street Journal’s Encore section on Monday, November 30, 2015, had a collection of recommended books for “The Good Life”. These were the top picks of 2015, a selection of great reads that “cover health, humor, travel and more” written by Diane Cole. She writes: If there is a recipe for aging well, it must involve the mind, the body, the spirit–and the funny bone. You’ll find myriad suggestions for how to do just that in this year’s best books for the territory ahead. On her list of six books is Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf (Turkey 1965-67). Cole writes: Kent Haruf’s spare and elegant novel, Our Souls at Night, was one of the best of the year for any age–but men and women entering new life phases will particularly savor the game courage and dry wit with which its two main characters take an unlikely bet . . .

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Ron Arias (Peru 1963-64) in Front of the Camera

Ron Arias (Peru 1963-64) author of half a dozen books (the last is entitled My Life as a Pencil) and for 22 years a writer at People Magazine retired a year or so ago to Hermosa Beach, California and gave up (at least full time) his writing career and began to throw pots. It’s a true story. Ron is finding his new occupation satisfying as well as fun. Recently cinematographer Matt Hanlon of www.wearethreaded.com did 3 hours of videos and produced 5 minutes of Ron at work as a potter. He also relates how Ron made the transition from print to clay. Take a look: https://vimeo.com/146351224

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Review in WSJ of Martin Puryear (Sierra Leone 1964-66) Exhibition at Morgan Library

The Wall Street Journal on November 24, 2015, had a review of Martin Puryear‘s : Multiple Dimensions show at The Morgan Library & Museum. Reviewer Lance Esplund writes “The 74-year-old American sculptor Martin Puryearis a consummate craftsman. As a skilled young wood-worker, he made furniture, guitars and canoes. And from an early age, he has been interested in the natural sciences and once considered becoming a wildlife illustrator.” In the Peace Corps (Sierra Leone 1964-66) , he taught  biology, French, English, and art at the secondary school level in a rural Sierra Leone. The village carpenters who made furniture for his classroom impressed him with the level of their craftsmanship. While he studied biology at Catholic University, he took painting classes in his junior year and continued his adolescent interest in nature by making detailed drawings of birds and insects. After the Peace Corps he went to Stockholm and entered . . .

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Novelist David C. Edmonds (Chile 1963-65) Wins Two Book Awards

Lily of Peru published by Peace Corps Writers books and written by David C. Edmonds (Chile 1963-65) recently won two awards. It was selected in second place in the category of Latino Theme Movie by Non-Latino Author. These awards are sponsored by Latino Literacy Now and were presented in 16 key categories during the 2015 Los Angeles Latino Book & Family Festival. Copies of all winning books will be presented to key television networks and movie studios. The novel also won the silver in the Readers’ Favorite International Book Award-Silver in the category of Thriller/Terrorist. Readers’ Favorite has become the fastest growing book review and award contest site on the Internet. More than 300 authors and guests attended the awards ceremony in Miami this year.

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In Laurence Leamer’s (Nepal 1964-66) Library

The New York Post, Sunday, November 22, 2015, has a one page book section and this week they featured Laurence Leamer (Nepal 1964-66). Here’s what writer Barbara Hoffman had to say about Larry… Antioch College was a liberal-arts college – liberal, period – when Laurence Leamer went there in 1960. John F. Kennedy was running for president, “but they didn’t think he was liberal enough,” Leamer says of his classmates. Leamer, however, supported JFK and wrangled a job in DC just in time to see the newly inaugurated president pass by on Pennsylvania Avenue. Decades later, after serving in the Peace Corps and writing for magazines, Leamer wrote three books on the Kennedys, including the bestselling The Kennedy Women. Now there’s Rose, his play about the Kennedy family matriarch. Starring Kathleen Chalfant, it’s playing at off-Broadway’s Clurman Theater through Dec. 13. . Here, 52 years after JFK’s death, are four . . .

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REVIEW — Renewable by Eileen Flanagan (Botswana 1984-86)

Renewable: One Woman’s Search for Simplicity, Faithfulness, and Hope Eileen Flanagan (Botswana 1984-86) She Writes Press March 2015 186 pages $16.95 (paperback), $9.95 (Kindle) Reviewed by Julie R. Dargis (Morocco 1984-87) • When Eileen Flanagan arrived in Botswana in 1984, “the same year that Apple introduced the Macintosh and Daryl Hannah starred in Splash with Tom Hanks,” global warming had yet to hit the global scene. Yet, that same year, as I arrived to my Peace Corps site in the south of Morocco, the population had been experiencing a severe drought. So much so, when the rains finally came with abandon, my students rejoiced for days. Twenty-five years later, as a result of global warming, Flanagan would be reporting similar news from her village in Botswana. Flanagan had entered the village of Bobonong atop a dusty road, rattling past round huts of mud and dung in a rusted-out Ford pickup . . .

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Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65) Learning About Africa

Former Associate Director of the Peace Corps, as well as a college president and Senator from Pennsylvania, Harris Wofford, tells how Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65) once told him how he  (Paul) read The Heart of Darkness and declared, “I want to go there!” Well, in Sunday, November 15, 2015 New York Times Book Review, Theroux in an interview responding to the question: If you had to name one book that made you who you are today, what would it be? has this reply: “Bring ’em Back Alive, by Frank Buck which I read when I was perhaps 10, made me want to leave home, go to Africa, and take risks in the bush. It’s a children’s book, not well written and probably full of whoppers, but it got my pulse racing. My life as a writer, as a man, began when I left home and spent the next six years . . .

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