laxEric Lax(Micronesia 1966-68) is the winner of the 2010 Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award for his book Faith, Interrupted: A Spiritual Journey faith-interruptedpublished by Alfred A. Knopf in 2010. Lax, who was born in British Columbia and grew up in San Diego, is a graduate of  Hobart College and served in Truk (now Chuuk), Eastern Caroline Islands, Micronesia. In 1968-69 he was a Peace Corps Fellow, and later held several posts in Peace Corps/Washington Headquarters.

He is the author of eight books. Other recent books include Conversations with Woody Allen: His Films, the Movies, and Moviemaking, and The Mold In Dr. Florey’s Coat: The Making of the Penicillin Miracle (a Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2004). Others include the international best seller Woody Allen: A Biography and Life and Death on 10 West (both New York Times Notable Books). His books have been translated into 18 languages. His articles have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times Magazine, the book review sections of the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the Washington Post; the Atlantic Monthly; the Washington Monthly; Vanity Fair; and Esquire, where he was a contributing editor. He is a past president of PEN Center USA, and currently is the Treasurer of International PEN, the world-wide writers organization based in London.

Reviews of this book, include:

“An intelligent, elegantly composed and open-hearted memoir. . . . Valuable, even instructive. . . . [Lax] is a writer of gentle precision and clarity.” -Los Angeles Times
 
“Lax has written a steady, quiet love letter to a faith he has lost. . . . Sympathetic and engrossing.” -The New York Times Book Review
 
“A poignant, sensitive and thoughtful memoir that illuminates the complexity of the phenomenon that we call faith.” -Karen Armstrong, author of The Case for God
 
“Candid and heartful. . . . Faith, Interrupted resonates because Lax confronts questions common to believers everywhere, and he does it without pomposity, self-righteousness, or condescension.” -America

In her thoughtful review of this book for our site, M. Susan Hundt-Bergan (Ethiopia 1966-68) writes:

“The opening scene of the book drew me in. Eric, a boy of eight, is the acolyte for his father, an Episcopalian priest, at an early Sunday morning Holy Communion Service. The service is lovingly and precisely described. The earnest boy and his father the priest obviously adore each other. From that opening scene we enter into the life of this small family - father, mother, son - that revolves around their religious faith.”

The book is  Eric’s journey through life and his religion, from college to the Peace Corps, to his career as a writer, and it is written in precise and wise prose. Here is a real RPCV writer.

Congratulations, Eric.

Eric receives a special citation and a cash award from Peace Corps Writers - a blog of Peace Corps Worldwide. Our congratulations to all the winners, and all the RPCVs who published books in 2010.