As many of you know, a Peace Corps Writers Luncheon will be held on Thursday, September 22, in the Library of Congress to celebrate the establishment of the Peace Corps Collection at the Library. The luncheon guests will include Peace Corps writers who have published books about their Peace Corps experience, and invited friends of our newsletter and websites who have supported us over the years. Because seating is limited, reservations must be made. Writers whose books qualify to be included in the Library of Congress Peace Corps Collection (click here for details) should contact Marian Haley Beil to R.S.V.P. no later than July 1, 2011 (or until the dining room reaches its capacity, whatever comes first). Marian will prepare a listing of those attending that will be posted at Peace Corps Worldwide>The 50th.
Among the ‘named’ writers (so far) who are planning to be in Washington, D.C. next September are:
- Geraldine Kennedy (Liberia 1962-64) editor and publisher of From the Center of the Earth: Stories Out of the Peace Corps, the first collection of Peace Corps fiction and non-fiction;
- Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65), author of too many books to list, including My Other Life, about his Peace Corps years;
- Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65) author of Green Fires Assault on Eden, A Novel of the Ecuadorian Rain-Forest;
- Stanley Meiser (PC/HQ 1964-67) just published When The World Calls: The Inside Story of the Peace Corps and Its First Fifty Years. The only study of the agency since its inception.
- Mary-Ann Tirone Smith (Cameroon 1965-67) who wrote Lament For A Silver-Eyed Woman, the first Peace Corps novel written by an RPCV;
- Laurence Leamer (Nepal 1965-67) author of many books, including two on the Kennedys, and one on Willi Unsoeld, the legendary first Peace Corps Country Director in Nepal;
- P.F. Kluge (Micronesia 1967-69) who wrote about his country-of-service in The Edge of Paradise: America in Micronesia, and the novel, Eddie and the Cruiser, later made into a movie, and an article for the Wall Street Journal that was turned into the film, Dog Day Afternoon. Kluge, by the way, emailed us from a ship on its way to Saigon that he was coming to our September event.
- Richard Wiley (Korea 1967-69) Associate Director of the Black Mountain Institute of UNLV, and who established UNLV’s international creative writing program, is the author of, among other novels, Soldiers In Hiding, and winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for best American fiction;
- Bob Shacochis (Eastern Caribbeaan 1975-76) author of Easy in the Island, winner of the 1985 National Book Award. In 1989 his second collection, The Next New World, won the Prix de Rome.
- Ann Neelon (Senegal 1978-79) author of the poetry collection Easter Vigil that won both the Anhinga Prize for Poetry, and the RPCV Writers and Readers Award.
- Mike Tidwell (Zaire 1985-87) author of The Ponds of Kalambayi: An African Sojourn that Sarge Shriver told me was the best Peace Corps memoir he had ever read.
- Ellen Urbani Hiltebrand (Guatemala 1991-93) wrote When I Was Elena, a major Peace Corps memoir out of Latin America.
- Tony D’Souza (Ivory Coast 2000-02, Madagascar 2002-03) whose first novel, Whiteman, received the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His second novel, The Konkans, was called a “best novel of the year” by the Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, and Poets & Writers Magazine.