Peace Corps Writers Imprint

All about books published under the Peace Corps Writers imprint — including how you can do it.

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Emily Creigh (Paraguay) publishes JOURNEY TO THE HEART OF THE CONDOR
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David Mather (Chile) publishes CRESCENT BEACH
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John Ashford (Botswana) publishes MEETING THE MANTIS
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David Edmonds (Chile 1963–65) publishes thriller THE GIRL IN THE GLYPHS
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Fran Hopkins Irwin and Will Irwin publish The Early Years of Peace Corps in Afghanistan with Peace Corps Writers
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Talking with Will Lutwick (Fiji 1968–70) author of DODGING MACHETES
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Peace Corps Writers publishes LITTLE WOMEN OF BAGLAN by Susan Fox
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Review — Glimpses through the Forest by Jason Gray (Gabon 2002-04)
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Talking with Jason Gray (Gabon 2002-04) about Glimpses through the Forest
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Peace Corps Writers Publishes Jason Gray’s Glimpses through the Forest

Emily Creigh (Paraguay) publishes JOURNEY TO THE HEART OF THE CONDOR

  Journey to the Heart of the Condor: Love, Loss, and Survival in a South American Dictatorship is the story of author Emily Creigh’s Peace Corps service in Paraguay from 1975 to 1977, during the height of repression carried out by the U.S.-backed Alfredo Stroessner dictatorship in its push to rid the country of political “dissidents” (a term conveniently applied to anyone opposed to the dictator). Creigh’s touching and humorous story of personal transformation unfolds against the backdrop of the regime’s brutality as related by co-author Dr. Martín Almada, a Paraguayan attorney and educator. Dr. Almada became one of the first victims of Operation Condor — the covert international campaign of state terrorism — and spent nearly three years in prison after being falsely accused of being a communist sympathizer. The two narratives overlap in a heartrending yet inspirational story of patriotism, sacrifice, and redemption. A recent college graduate struggling to . . .

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David Mather (Chile) publishes CRESCENT BEACH

About the suspense novel Crescent Beach just published by David Mather (Chile 1968–70): Cardboard-wrapped, forty-pound bales of marijuana called “square grouper” are flooding Florida’s Gulf Coast. Undercover State Trooper Rusty McMillan is sent into the fishing village of Crescent Beach to bust a key operator in the drug trade, and stem the area’s rampant smuggling. Expecting to deal with trailer trash, Rusty instead discovers the town is a hardworking community from an earlier era when life was simple and straightforward. He becomes immersed in the everyday life of shrimping, crabbing, and fishing, while at night he drinks beer, arm wrestles, and plays poker with the locals who become his friends. Rusty eventually gets the evidence he needs, but can he make the arrest? Either way he’s a traitor: to his job or to the community. But, before he can decide, the town is slammed by unexpected hurricane force winds and a . . .

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John Ashford (Botswana) publishes MEETING THE MANTIS

John Ashford was a library director at Seattle Community College for almost twenty years when he decided he needed a change of scenery, a change of activity, and a dose of another culture. In preparation he obtained a certification as a teacher of English as a Second Language. Then, both he and his wife Genevieve ended their careers and went to Botswana in 1990 with the Peace Corps as teachers. John spent his two years as a lecturer in library studies at Tonota College of Education. Facing the end of their Peace Corps service in Botswana, the Ashfords began making plans for travel with the purpose of learning more about the San, an indigenous people of Southern Africa — also known as the Kalahari Bushmen. Years earlier, while still in college, John had been introduced to the Kalahari Bushmen in an anthropology class and had retained a fascination with them. . . .

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David Edmonds (Chile 1963–65) publishes thriller THE GIRL IN THE GLYPHS

David writes — A cave in Nicaragua. A wall of mysterious glyphs. Pirate gold. What could possibly go wrong? Jennifer McMullen-Cruz, a Smithsonian specialist in ancient writing, is on a mission to find a mysterious “glyph” cave in Nicaragua. But no sooner does she arrive than she’s set upon by a gang of tomb looters who are also searching for the cave, not for glyphs, but for pirate gold. They’ve already killed one of her associates, and now they’re after her. Things get messy when she falls into a spiral of romance and intrigue with a handsome stranger at the US Embassy. And messier still when her cheating husband wants her back. Her life is further complicated by an obnoxious reporter who dogs her every step and an old Indian couple who may or may not be spirits. But her greatest challenge is in that cave in Nicaragua, written in . . .

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Fran Hopkins Irwin and Will Irwin publish The Early Years of Peace Corps in Afghanistan with Peace Corps Writers

This month Frances Hopkins Irwin (Afghanistan 1964–67) and Will A. Irwin (Afghanistan 1966–67) published The Early Years of Peace Corps in Afghanistan: A Promising Time with Peace Corps Writers. Here’s what they say about their book: The Peace Corps in Afghanistan The first four years of Peace Corps in Afghanistan was a promising time. Nine Volunteers, perhaps the smallest Peace Corps program around the world, arrived in 1962. They were greeted with skepticism and all placed in Kabul. What skills could they contribute? Wouldn’t their presence cause trouble in this country bordering the Soviet Union? The Early Years tells how within a year the five teachers, three nurses, and a mechanic had demonstrated their skills, how they and the following Volunteers connected with the Afghan community through jazz, folk music, and basketball and used sawdust stoves to avoid paying for oil. By 1966, over 200 Peace Corps Volunteers were serving . . .

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Talking with Will Lutwick (Fiji 1968–70) author of DODGING MACHETES

I recently interviewed Will Lutwick (Fiji 1968–70), author of Dodging Machetes: How I Survived Forbidden Love, Bad Behavior, and the Peace Corps in Fiji, published by Peace Corps Writers in 2012. Our conversation follows. — JC • Will, where are you from? Actually, I was born in New Rochelle, New York, the town next to where you live today, and when I was four, my family moved to Richmond, Virginia, and I grew up there. I went to Duke and got a BA in ’67, then I picked up an MBA at the University of Michigan in 1968. . And you were in the Peace Corps when? I was assigned to Fiji from 1968 to 1970 working with co-operatives first and then doing marketing research for Fiji’s government. . Why the Peace Corps? Academically, I had been grooming myself for a business career, but as I got into the job interview . . .

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Peace Corps Writers publishes LITTLE WOMEN OF BAGLAN by Susan Fox

Little Women of Baghlan: The Story of a Nursing School for Girls in Afghanistan, the Peace Corps, and Life Before the Taliban is the true account of Joanne – Jo – Carter  who answers the call to service and adventure during an extraordinary time in world history. Her story rivals the excitement, intrigue, and suspense of any novel, unfolding against the backdrop of changing social mores, the Cold War, the Peace Corps, and a country at the crossroads of China, Russia, India, Pakistan, and Iran. When John F. Kennedy delivers a speech in the Senate Chambers on a hot July day in 1957, a young  Jo Carter listens from the Senate gallery. In 1967 Jo remembers the now-deceased President Kennedy’s words and is inspired to join the Peace Corps. As a new Peace Corps Volunteer she flies into Afghanistan on March 21, 1968 with her training group. From her plane . . .

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Review — Glimpses through the Forest by Jason Gray (Gabon 2002-04)

Glimpses through the Forest: Memories of Gabon by Jason Gray (Gabon 2002-04) A Peace Corps Writers Book $14.95 288 pages 2013 Reviewed by Susi Wyss (Central African Republic 1990-92) Within the first few pages of his book, Glimpses through the Forest: Memories of Gabon, Jason Gray establishes at least one of the intended audiences for his book. “For any prospective Peace Corps Volunteers who might be reading this,” he writes, “I do feel that it is important to acknowledge that for all the excitement and frustrations of the actual work assignment, there are countless days and nights spent getting to know one’s neighbors, community, and new friends.” Reading that sentence, I couldn’t help wonder how successful the book was going to be in describing the Peace Corps experience to a would-be volunteer. Moreover, would there be other potential audiences for Gray’s memoir? As a Peace Corps Volunteer, Gray worked on . . .

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Talking with Jason Gray (Gabon 2002-04) about Glimpses through the Forest

Jason, tell us a little about yourself, pre-Peace Corps. Well, I grew up on the windswept plains and in the high mountains of Montana, in a town on the Missouri River called Great Falls. Most weekends, my family would seek out some outdoor adventure, whether it be fishing, or hiking, or skiing, or mending fences for the horses we raised. I developed the travel bug early on as well, and have enjoyed visiting many natural areas in the United States and abroad. My formative education years were spent studying French, ecology, and conservation biology, which lead me to study abroad programs in Paris, France and in Kenya. Upon graduation from college, I knew I had to go back to Africa and I jumped at the chance to serve in the Peace Corps. Gabon proved such a remarkable place that I stayed on after my Peace Corps service with WWF International, . . .

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Peace Corps Writers Publishes Jason Gray’s Glimpses through the Forest

Peace Corps Writers — the publishing arm of Peace Corps Worldwide — is happy to announce the publication of Glimpses through the Forest: Memories of Gabon by Jason Gray (Gabon 2002–04). Situated in Central Africa, the nation of Gabon is a vibrant and mysterious place full of rich history, diverse culture, and stunning biodiversity. In the midst of the African rainforest, a Peace Corps Volunteer from Montana is thrust into a new life of adventure and discovery. From close encounters with forest elephants to classroom teaching challenges, this retelling of one man’s experiences takes readers on an extraordinary journey through daily life, cultural events, and ongoing conservation efforts, and shares his love affair with a country that will forever own a piece of his heart. This new book by Jason Gray (Gabon 2002–04) leaves readers with an impression of having shared in his experiences. Gray’s underlying reverence for Gabon and . . .

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