Iran

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Talking with Mary Dana Marks (Iran), author of WALLED IN, WALLED OUT
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Review: WALLED IN WALLED OUT by Mary Dana Marks (Iran)
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Keep Cool

Talking with Mary Dana Marks (Iran), author of WALLED IN, WALLED OUT

  In April, Mary Dana Marks published Walled In, Walled Out: A Young American Woman in Iran with Peace Corps Writers. She describes her book this way: “A young American woman comes of age in Iran, threading her way through the venerable history and culture of this ancient, proud Muslim land to find her own unique role.” Here she talks of her Peace Corps experience, her career, and how she came to write Walled In, Walled Out. • Where and when did you serve in the Peace Corps? I was a Volunteer in Iran from 1964 to 1966. What was your Peace Corp project assignment? I was part of a large TEFL group, Iran 4, which trained at the University of Michigan during the summer of 1964. We studied Farsi, of course, and Iranian history and culture. Working with U of M’s summer English Language Institute students, we trained to be teachers . . .

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Review: WALLED IN WALLED OUT by Mary Dana Marks (Iran)

  Walled In Walled Out by Mary Dana Marks (Iran 1964–66) Peace Corps Writers Books 348 pages April 2017 Reviewed by John Krauskopf (Iran 1965–67) • WALLED IN WALLED OUT IS A CAPTIVATING MEMOIR.  The Kennedy-era idealism lured young Mary Beckett Marks into the Peace Corps to serve for two years in conservative Kerman, Iran. This sojourn forced the author to struggle to adjust to the Kermani culture and to mature many of the ideas that have guided her life since. The memoir traces Mary’s emotional reaction to the culture, her feelings, frustrations and adjustments. During a low point at the end of her first year, Mary was so discouraged that she decided to request a transfer to another site. This opportunity passed without action because of a cholera quarantine. Reluctantly remaining in Kerman for her second year, the book outlines Mary’s increasing language skills and her greater comfort with the . . .

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Keep Cool

by Jennifer B-C Seaver (Iran 1966–68) This essay was first published December 6, 2005 on the blog of PeaceCorpsWriters.org • DURING THE TWO YEARS THAT I SERVED in Iran as an English teacher in the 1960s, travel was strenuous, most routes, unpaved, and communications, almost impossible. People often showed up — or didn’t, even when they had written ahead to say they were coming. So, in September 1966, when Tom Dawson and David Osterberg failed to arrive in Rasht, Gilan, as planned, I was not particularly concerned. Tom had written that they planned to spend a night in Ardabil, then catch another bus down the scenic Astara road, which drops thousands of feet to the shores of the Caspian Sea and, if all went well, they’d arrive in Rasht by nightfall. The next day, we’d go on to our workshop in Isfahan. I had traveled that road earlier in the . . .

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