Africa

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Review — SWIMMING by Karl Luntta (Botswana)
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THE GREAT SURGE by Steven Radelet (Western Samoa) reviewed in WSJ
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A Writer Writes: The Boy on the Back of the Bike
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Peace Corps Writers publishes Mark Wentling’s AFRICA’S EMBRACE

Review — SWIMMING by Karl Luntta (Botswana)

  Swimming: Stories Karl Luntta (Botswana 1977-80; staff: Fiji, Solomon Islands, Western Samoa, Kiribati, Barbados) Excelsior Editions/SUNY Press September 2015 180 pages $16.95 (paperback — from publisher), $12.38 (Kindle) Reviewed by Ben East (Malawi 1996–98) • ONE THING IS CERTAIN for foreigners at work in much of Africa: the proverbs can be as colorful as they are vague, utilitarian as they are vexing. The truth can emerge — or remain obscured — with a single phrase applied in limitless ways. Truth, in these proverbs, lies in the eye of the beholder and not the object beheld. This principle is at work in the eight stories of Karl Luntta’s Swimming, each of which churns beneath the surface with traces of hidden truth. Whether his characters are far removed from the world we know — like Maag, digging his own grave at the edge of the Kalahari — or are much closer to home, Luntta’s . . .

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THE GREAT SURGE by Steven Radelet (Western Samoa) reviewed in WSJ

Friday, February 12, 2016 the Wall Street Journal carried a long review by Mark Moyer, visiting scholar at the Foreign Policy Initiative, of  The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World written by Steven Radelet (Western Samoa 1981-83), a former chief economist of AID and now holder of  the Donald F. McHenry Chair in Global Human Development at Georgetown University, is well as an economic adviser to the president of Liberia, and  most importantly, husband of Carrie Hessler Radelet, Director of the Peace Corps. In his review, Moyer writes, “Combining the real-world knowledge of a practitioner with the rigor of an academic, Mr. Radelet delivers a stimulating reconsideration of development aid.” Moyer points out that Radelet believes what has triggered the “great surge” was the crumbling of the Soviet Empire. “The discrediting of Marxist-Leninism encouraged poor countries to discard autocracy and state control of the economy in favor of liberal democracy and capitalism. The end of superpower competition also . . .

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A Writer Writes: The Boy on the Back of the Bike

[In the May 2005 issue of Peace Corps Writers, we published this “A Writer Writes” essay “The Boy on the Back of the Bike” written by Terry Campbell (Tanzania 1985-87; Dominican Republic 1989-92; Crisis Corps El Salvador 2001-02). We haven’t heard from Terry in some time, not sure he is following our site or the workings of the Peace Corps, but this piece he wrote shows where his heart is.] The Boy on the Back of the Bike By Terry Campbell IN NOVEMBER November 2004, I returned to Tanzania where I had served in the Peace Corps from 1985 to 1987. I had been wanting to go back for a long time, but as everyone knows, it’s expensive. Then I saw this deal on the internet and I grabbed it. After hitting the final “purchase ticket” button, I panicked a little. It had been seventeen years since I’d left Tanzania! . . .

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Peace Corps Writers publishes Mark Wentling’s AFRICA’S EMBRACE

Africa’s Embrace is author Mark Wentling’s (Honduras 1967–69, Togo 1970–73; staff: Togo, Gabon, Niger 1973–77) fictional account of the adventures of a young man named David from Kansas who travels to Africa to follow his destiny, and becomes caught up in a mystical, larger-than-life adventure. Upon arrival, he is renamed “Bobovovi” and chosen by the spirit world to ride the “mountain moonbeam” and become “transformed” by an ancient baobab tree. Bobovovi does his best to make his goodwill prevail, but his humanitarian work is fraught with unforeseen, unusual challenges. He moves from one surprising adventure to another, telling an African story unlike any the reader has ever heard before. Africa changes him in unimaginable ways, and those changes are inculcated into the reader in order to teach a wide variety of lessons, helping the reader to better understand Africa and Africans Although Africa’s Embrace is literary fiction, the novel is, . . .

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