Archive - October 2009

1
Looking For An Agent? The “F” List
2
And The Winner Of The Best Memoir From Africa Is!
3
Best Memoirs By RPCVs
4
Review: San Francisco Tenderloin
5
Early Peace Corps Books
6
Looking For An Agent? The “E” List
7
Review: Moroccan RPCV Thomas Hollowell's Allah's Garden
8
Review: Stories By Korean RPCV Clifford Garstang
9
The Great Peace Corps Novel
10
RPCV Emily Arsenault (South Africa 2004-06) publishes first novel

Looking For An Agent? The “F” List

Finch, Diana Diana Finch Literary Agency 116 W. 23rd St., Suite 500 New York NY 10011 Memoir, General Non-Fiction diana.finch@verizon.net Flannery, Jennifer Flannery Literary Agency 155 S. Washington St., Suite 202 Naperville IL 60540 General Fiction, Reference FlanLit@aol.com Fleishman, Samuel Literary Artists Representatives 575 West End Avenue New York NY 10024 General Fiction, Reference, Narrative Fiction LitArtists@aol.com Fletcher, Christy Fletcher & Parry 78 Fifth Avenue 3rd Floor New York, NY 10001 History/Politics/Current Affairs, Mystery/Crime, Business/Investing/Finance christy@fletcherparry.com Fogelman, Evan The Fogelman Literary Agency 7515 Greenville Avenue, Suite 712 Dallas, TX 75231 General Non-Fiction, Reference evan@fogelman.com Frazier, Warren John Hawkins & Associates 71 West 23rd St., Suite 1600 New York NY 10010 General Fiction, General Non-Fiction, Health, Religion/Spirituality, Science, Reference, Children’s jha@jhalit.com History www.jhaliterary.com Frederick, Dawn Sebastian Literary Agency 2160 Kenwood Way Wayzata, MN 55391 Business/Investing/Finance, Advice/Relationships, Health awn@sebastianagency.com Fredericks, Jeanne Jeanne Fredericks Literary Agency 221 Benedict Hill Road New Canaan, CT 06840 . . .

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And The Winner Of The Best Memoir From Africa Is!

Naming the best memoir by an RPCV who served in Africa has stirred some interest. A number of first rate books have been cited, from Mike Tidwell (Zaire 1985-87)  The Ponds of Kalambayi: An African Sojourn published in 1991, to Kris Holloway’s Monique and the Mango Rains that came out in 2006. What we are seeking is a memoir of the Peace Corps experience, not fiction. Readers seem not to remember a few other good books published by RPCVs. Jason Carter’s account, for example, of being a PCV in South Africa entitled Power Lines published by National Geographic Books in 2002, or  Jeanne D’Haem’s (Somalia 1968-70) charming The Last Camel: True Stories About Somalia published by Red Sea Press in 1997, or even Mango Elephants in the Sun by Susana Herrera (Cameroon 1992-94) put out by Shambhala Publications in 1999. Selecting the best book is not easy. Very few readers remember the late Tim McLaurin (Tunisia . . .

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Best Memoirs By RPCVs

I am very impressed that so many ( actually only two) RPCVs had anything to say about the “Great  Peace Corps novel” so let’s see what we can generate regarding ‘other’ books about the Peace Corps Experience: Peace Corps Memoirs.  God knows we have more than a few academic and commercial books, as well as, self published books of what the Peace Corps was like going back to the first days of the agency.  The very first Peace Corps memoir (written by an RPCV) is Arnold Zeitlin’s To the Peace Corps with Love published by Doubleday in 1965. Zeitlin was a PCV with the first group of Volunteers to Ghana, in 1961. Zeitlin had been a young reporter before going into the Peace Corps, and after his tour he was a journalist all his life, living around the world until his recent retirement. Another journalist, after his Peace Corps years, is Leonard Levitt. He wrote a terrific book, An African . . .

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Review: San Francisco Tenderloin

Will Siegel is a technical writer who also writes fiction and who also served in Ethiopia with Marian Haley Beil and myself back in the day (1962–64). Will went to San Francisco State for his masters degree in creative writing and lived there during the summer of love (and lots more) before moving to New York City, and next to Boston where he has lived for the last twenty plus years. Then and now, he is a fine writer and one of the sweetest guys we know and here he reviews Larry Wonderling’s (PC Staff: COR Puerto Rico 1968–70; Afghanistan 1970-73; early ’80s Central and Latin America; late ’80s Africa) book on a tender and tough spot in San Francisco. San Francisco Tenderloin: True Stories of Heroes, Demons, Angels, Outcasts & a Psychotherapist Expanded Second Edition By Larry Wonderling, Ph.D. Cape Foundation Publications 415 Pages $24.95 Reviewed by William Siegel (Ethiopia 1962-64) Larry . . .

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Early Peace Corps Books

In the first days and years of the Peace Corps there were many books written by people who had never been PCVs, never worked for the agency, never worked overseas, and never volunteer for anything, but were academics or free lance writers who saw a great new subject areas that they could write about, especially since no one knew anything about who, what, where, when and how the Peace Corps might develop or what would happen to all those bright young people joining up and going off to live in the middle of nowhere.  A small cottage industry of ‘Peace Corps books’ began in the publishing world at a time when there were no Volunteers. Over the years I have haunted yard sales and bookstores and now the Internet  and have collected enough of those books to cause my wife to roll her eyes whenever I come home clutching another history or anthropological study of the first Peace Corps years. The best books, of . . .

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Looking For An Agent? The “E” List

Edelstein, Anne ANNE EDELSTEIN LITERARY AGENCY 404 Riverside Drive New York, NY 10025 Religion/Spirituality info@aeliterary.com Egan-Miller, Danielle BROWNE & MLLLER LITERARY ASSOCIATES 410 S. Michigan Avenue, Ste. 724 Chicago, IL 60605 Women’s/Romance, History/Politics/Current Affairs, Children’s, Religion/Spirituality, Memoirs, mail@brownandmiller.com www.brownandmiller.com Eliseo, Leigh Ann DAVID BLACK LITERARY AGENCY 156 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10001 History/Politics/Current Affairs, Parenting, How-To, Memoirs, Sports, Business/Investing/Finance, Lifestyle, Reference, Biography, Religion/Spirituality, Narrative Non-Fiction, Advice/Relationships laeliseo@dblackagency.com Ellenberg, Ethan THE ETHAN ELLENBERG LITERARY AGENCY 548 Broadway #5E New York, NY 10012 Women’s/Romance, General Fiction ethanellenberg.com   English, Elaine GRAYBILL & ENGLISH 4710 41st St, NW, Suite D Washington, DC 20016 Women’s/Romance ElaineEngl@aol.com www.elaineenglish.com Eth, Felicia FELICIA ETH LITERARY REPRESENTATION 555 Bryant Street, Suite 350 Palo Alto, CA 94301 General Fiction, Reference feliciaeth@aol.com   Evans, Joni WILLIAM MORRIS 1325 Ave. of the Americas, 11th Fl. New York, NY 10019 General Fiction, General Non-Fiction, Memoir, Sports, History, Politics/Current Affairs, Children’s www.wma.com . . .

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Review: Moroccan RPCV Thomas Hollowell's Allah's Garden

Jack Allison served a 3-year tour with the Peace Corps in Malawi where he was a public health Volunteer in the bush. Here he reviews Thomas Howell’s book Allah’s Gardenon Morocco based on Hollowell’s brief tour as a PCV, and now his extended connection with the country. • Allah’s Garden by Thomas Hollowell (Morocco 2002) Tales Press March 2009 198  pages $14.95 Reviewed by Jack Allison (Malawi 1967–69) Thomas Hollowell’s novel is actually a multi-layered reportage of his fascination with Morocco which resulted in a very brief stint as a Volunteer with the US Peace Corps there in 2002, including an historical denouement of the war in the Western Sahara, and a focused account of the capture, torture, and epic struggle of a Moroccan physician, Azeddine Benmansour, who spent 24 years as a prisoner of the terrorist group, the Polisario.  Azeddine is one of the longest-held POWs ever. The novel . . .

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Review: Stories By Korean RPCV Clifford Garstang

Award winning writer and Guatemala RPCV Mark Brazaitis reviews In an Uncharted Country by Korea RPCV Clifford Garstang, published this September by Press 53. • In an Uncharted Country by Clifford Garstang (South Korea 1976–78) Press 53 August 2009 204 pages $14.00 Reviewed by Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991–93) If Clifford Garstang’s stories were a city, they wouldn’t be a place you would have heard much about. But if you happened to settle there, you wouldn’t want to leave. In “White Swans,” one of the stories in his excellent debut collection, Garstang tackles the same subject matter that National Book Award-finalist Mary Gaitskill does in the title story to her third collection, Don’t Cry. In Gaitskill’s story, a woman, recently widowed, is helping a friend adopt a child from Ethiopia; in Garstang’s, a married couple is in China to adopt a daughter. In both stories, bureaucracy is only part of what . . .

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The Great Peace Corps Novel

I’m going to try and settle an argument–and create one!–by looking at the shelf of books we have from Peace Corps writers and come up with a list of the ‘best Peace Corps novels.’ I hope with my nomination to engage the community and have you all respond with your “best books.”  Later we’ll look at the non-fiction accounts by RPCVs and pick a list of those books. First, why list of  ‘great books’? Well, I guess it all started with John W. De Forest who introduced the notion of “the great American novel” in 1868 in Nation magazine. Novelist De Forest made the point that no American had produced a true painting of the American soul. What De Forest wanted was a book that “produced a true painting of the American soul, a picture of the ordinary emotions and manner of American existence.” So, what Peace Corps novel has “produced a true painting of . . .

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RPCV Emily Arsenault (South Africa 2004-06) publishes first novel

We have a new novelist on our Peace Corps bookshelf, Emily Arsenault of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. Emily and her husband were PCVs in rural South Africa where she wrote the first draft of The Broken Teaglass. Emily writes: “After school, I spent many afternoons and evenings sitting outside reading, watching goats, and handing out biscuits and apple slices to the little kids who liked to come by and giggle at our poor Setswana skills. And scribbling out the first draft.” Her mystery novel, published this September by Delacorte Press involves a mysterious quotation in a dictionary (Emily once worked for Merriam-Webster). In their review PW wrote, “”Arsenault’s quirky, arresting debut … [is] an absorbing, offbeat mystery-meets-coming-of-age novel that’s as sweet as it is suspenseful.” I’m a great believer in ‘novels of information’ and on Emily’s website she writes about the factual information she was able to use in creating her novel, . . .

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