Cynthia Morrison Phoel ( Bulgaria 1994-96) was a PCV in a Bulgarian town not unlike the one in her new collection, Cold Snap. Her book will be published this spring (April) by Southern Methodist University Press. Cynthia holds degrees from Cornell and the Warrren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, and her short stories have appeared in the Missouri Review, Gettysburg Review, and Harvard Review. She lives near Boston and just gave birth to her third child! Busy RPCV.
The book is getting some great advance word, and great blubs from writers like Steve Yarbrough, Alison Lurie, Katherine Shonk, Robert Boswell, Robert Cohen, etc.
While the Peace Corps ‘volunteer’ is not part of her stories, actually there is only one American in the stories, this collection of stories, now a book, shows what an RPCV can do with the experience. As Alison Lurie writes, “I admire Cynthia Phoel’s use of original material, and the skill with which she makes an unfamiliar world real.”
SMU press, by the way, also published Paul Eggers (Malaysia 1976-78) who won our Marie Thomas Fiction Award in 2000 for his novel Saviors, set in a Vietnamese refugee camp on an island called Bidong off the east coast of Malaysia in the late 1970s, and the novel The Baker’s Boy by Barry Kitterman (Belize 1975-77) that won the same award this year.