Archive - July 21, 2010

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Mad Man # 10
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Mad Man # 9
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2010 Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award for 2009 Won by Laurence Leamer
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Review of Leita Kaldi's (Senegal 1993–96) Roller Skating in the Desert

Mad Man # 10

The most famous recruitment trip of them all was in early October 1963. It was the one that gave rise to the term, blitz recruiting. Gale put together five advance teams and five follow-up teams. Each team spent a week in southern California and then a week in northern California, visiting every major campus in both areas. Coates Redmon sums up the ‘teams’ in her book. “One advance team consisting of Nan McEvoy, then deputy director of the Africa Regional Office, and Frank Erwin, then deputy director of Selection, were assigned first to Los Angeles Sate University (where there was only modest interest in the Peace Corps) and next to San Francisco State University (where there was considerable interests). Bob Gale, Linda Lyle (his secretary) and Dough Kiker took on the University of Southern California in the south and then the University of California at Berkeley in the north. Gale had friends . . .

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Mad Man # 9

Jay Rockefeller had no interest in going out on a blind date with Lennie Radley when he arrived at the University of Michigan. As he emphatically told Gale. “Bob, I’m not seeing her. I have traveled fifty thousand miles in the past five weeks. And now I am going to bed.” You can’t, Gale insisted, begging Rockefeller, grabbing the young man by the shoulders. Gale had promised the young woman. She had lost her brother in the Peace Corps.  It was as if the whole future of the Peace Corps depended on getting Rockefeller to go on this blind date. “Okay, Bob,” Jay answered. “I’ll do it. But only if you take out her roommate and go with me.” “I can’t! I’m a married man!” “I don’t care.” “Besides, she might not have a roommate.” “She’s got a girlfriend. If I’m going; you’re going.” The two recruiters double dated for the sake of the future of . . .

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2010 Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award for 2009 Won by Laurence Leamer

PEACE CORPS WRITERS is pleased to announce that Madness Under the Royal Palms: Love and Death Behind the Gates of Palm Beach by Laurence Leamer (Nepal 1965-67)  has won the 2010 Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award for the outstanding non-fiction book published by a Peace Corps writer during 2009. Leamer will receive a framed certificate and a prize of $200. • Laurence Leamer has had a lifelong career as a freelance writer following a one-year stint as an associate editor at Newsweek. His first book, The Paper Revolutionaries: The Rise of the Underground Press [Simon & Schuster 1972], was written with a grant from the Twentieth Century Fund. Upon publication, Leamer left New York City to live in a trailer park in Lanark, West Virginia where he worked in a coal mine and wrote an article for Harper’s about his experience. That led to other assignments for the magazine including covering . . .

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Review of Leita Kaldi's (Senegal 1993–96) Roller Skating in the Desert

Reviewer Tony D’Souza’s  new novel The Mule, will be released by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt next year. His other novels, Whiteman and The Konkans, won many prizes including the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Maria Thomas Prize from Peace Corps Writers, and Florida gold and silver medals for fiction. Tony has contributed to The New Yorker, Playboy, Esquire, Outside, Granta, McSweeney’s, the O. Henry Prize Stories, Best American Fantasy, and has received an NEA, a Japan Friendship NEA, and a Guggenheim. He lives in Sarasota, FL, with his wife Jessyka and their two young children. Here he reviews Leita Kaldi’s memoir Roller Skating in the Desert. • Roller Skating in the Desert Leita Kaldi (Senegal 1993–96) PublishAmerica 2007 $24.95 Reviewed by Tony D’Souza (Ivory Coast 2000–02, Madagascar 2002–03) WHAT’S MOST ENJOYABLE about Roller Skating in the Desert, Leita Kaldi’s unique memoir about her three . . .

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