Peace Corps Writers Imprint

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

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Kay Gillies Dixon (Colombia) publishes TALES OF FAMILY TRAVELS
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LETTERS FROM SUSIE published by Katherine Miller (Ghana)
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Stephen Mustoe (Kenya) publishes BREVITÉ
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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

Kay Gillies Dixon (Colombia) publishes TALES OF FAMILY TRAVELS

  In Kay Gillies Dixon’s new book, Tales of Family Travel: Bathrooms of the World, she chronicles her family’s globe trotting through Rome, Kenya, Cyprus and parts beyond. Returned Peace Corps Volunteers parents Kevin and Kay Dixon embraced a passion for travel that they hoped to imprint on their four daughters. In the late 1970s, Kevin landed a contract to work in Saudi Arabia. The Dixons could not pack their bags fast enough. This was the opportunity to provide two fundamental values to their children – roots and wings. The author narrates their story with finesse and descriptions that take you along on the journey. Their child-centric exploits lead them to unimaginable experiences that otherwise might have been missed. A day visiting a Maasai settlement nearly takes a deep dive when their precocious toddler wanders away. Determined to go on an elephant safari in Nepal sends them river rafting after . . .

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LETTERS FROM SUSIE published by Katherine Miller (Ghana)

  Susie Bannerman was a shy, gangly, fourteen-year-old high school student when she met Katherine Miller, a Peace Corps Volunteer teacher at her partially-finished boarding school in newly independent Ghana. They bonded quickly and formed a friendship that has lasted over fifty years primarily continuing their relationship by communicating through letters. About fifteen years ago Miller realized that her collection of hundreds of letters from Susie was an incredible chronicle of the life of a woman who had grown up as her country was struggling with its own growing pains. Only nine-years-old when Ghana became independent, Susie and Ghana grew up together. Katherine suggested to Susie the the idea of a making a book of her letters, and Susie agreed immediately. First the letters were transcribed to the computer. Miller wrote background material by hand — her preferred medium — before entering it onto the computer. Susie and her family were involved in much . . .

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Stephen Mustoe (Kenya) publishes BREVITÉ

  About Brevité by Stephen Mustoe (Kenya 1983–84) • Brevité is a collection of concise, imaginative stories that range widely in focus and spirit, from poignant to upbeat, unsettling to comical. In Acceptance a son struggles to deal with his mentally ill mother’s impending death. In Dogfish Blues and Blind Faith a young boy, later a teenager, survives hilarious yet terrifying adventures in the company of his outrageous uncle. Parallel Lives has an ailing man considering a series of malaria-induced recollections that might or might not be real. A young woman tries to make sense of a quirky accident that spared her life in Encounter. Each of my brief stories has its basis in either personal experience or an event related by a friend or acquaintance. Nevertheless they are all fictional works, which gave me liberty to make things up as I went along. And that was the truly enjoyable part. . . .

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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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