Archive - July 2010

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Review of RJ Huddy's(Morocco 1981–83) The Verse of the Sword
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Review of Reilly Ridgell's (Micronesia 1971-73) Green Pearl Odyssey
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Review of P.F. Kluge's new novel A Call from Jersey
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Finding A Job In Publishing: Literary Agent #6
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Congressman Garamendi (Ethiopia 1965-67) Comes Out Against Endless Afghanistan War
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The Books We Carried
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More Mad Women: Sally Bowles
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Finding A Job In Magazine Publishing #5
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Finding A Job In Publishing: Production Assistant # 4
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June Books By Peace Corps Writers

Review of RJ Huddy's(Morocco 1981–83) The Verse of the Sword

Darcy M. Meijer was a Peace Corps EFL teacher in Gabon, and has taught ESL for the past 25 years. She is also the editor of the Gabon Letter, the quarterly newsletter of the Friends of Gabon. Currently she is working in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, and spends cool summers in the Bay of Fundy, Canada. Here she reviews RJ Huddy’s first novel, The Verse of the Sword. • The Verse of the Sword R J Huddy (Morocco 1981–83) XPat Fiction September 2009 456 pages $17.50 Reviewed by Darcy M. Meijer (Gabon 1982–84) THE VERSE OF THE SWORD, RJ Huddy’s first novel, is a thoroughly enjoyable read. The book is funny, informative, and engaging on many levels. It’s time someone wrote a literary novel about the Middle East that faces religious extremism in a human, thoughtful way. Verse opens in an Intensive Care Unit in Boston, where . . .

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Review of Reilly Ridgell's (Micronesia 1971-73) Green Pearl Odyssey

Reviewer Bryant Wieneke’s (Niger 1974-76) is the Assistant Dean for Policy in the College of Letters and Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of a series of peace-oriented suspense novels that are available for $10 each through his own micro publishing company at Peace Rose Publishing. • Green Pearl Odyssey Reilly Ridgell (Micronesia 1971–73) Blue Ocean Press $16.95 468 pages February 2010 Reviewed by Bryant Wieneke’s (Niger 1974–76) IF YOU LIKE SUSPENSE NOVELS set in exotic places, this is a good one. Scott Taylor, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Micronesia, witnesses the murder of his wife and brother by Page 10 of Green Pearl Odyssey.  He exacts his revenge by Page 20. The remainder of the novel is devoted to the game of global hide-and-seek between Taylor and a crime kingpin obsessed with rubbing him out. Taylor’s odyssey begins in Majuro, the capital of . . .

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Review of P.F. Kluge's new novel A Call from Jersey

Patrick Chura is associate professor of English at the University of Akron and author of Vital Contact: Downclassing Journeys in American Literature from Melville to Richard Wright. His second book, Thoreau the Land Surveyor, is forthcoming in 2010. He recently returned to Lithuania as a Fulbright lecturer. Here he reviews P.F. Kluge’s new novel that is coming out this September. • A Call from Jersey by P. F. Kluge (Micronesia 1967-69) Overlook Press 352 pages $25.95 September 2010 Reviewed by Patrick Chura (Lithuania 1992-94) IN A CALL FROM JERSEY, P. F. Kluge isn’t out to write an epic or a blockbuster. He’s trying instead for a quiet, emotionally intelligent book about sentiments real to all of us. The main characters in this thoughtful novel are Hans Greifinger, an aging German immigrant who came to the United States in 1928, and his Americanized son George Griffin, a baby boomer who is . . .

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Finding A Job In Publishing: Literary Agent #6

It has been said that you must be short to be an agent. Not true. If you love books, have a comfortable shoulder on which writers can cry on, can generate ideas and see trends in what readers want to read and learn about, and if you like to be taken out to expensive luncheons paid for by editors, then you might want to think about being an agent. Again, you have to start at the bottom of the food chain as an assistant and do a lot of crappy jobs. The typical tasks of an agent’s assistant is to read and evaluate manuscripts; submit manuscripts to publishers, handle contracts, checks, and royalty statements; write permission with pitch letters; and handle the boss’s schedule, phone, and expenses. The way to get a job as an agent’s assistant is to move to New York City, read mediabistro.com and the half dozen other on-line websites that . . .

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Congressman Garamendi (Ethiopia 1965-67) Comes Out Against Endless Afghanistan War

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek, CA) and (Ethiopia 1965-67) who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, today voted for two amendments that would end the war in Afghanistan and set a timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan. John voted for an amendment authored by Obey and McGovern that requires the President to present Congress with a new National Intelligence Estimate on Afghanistan by January 31, 2011 and a plan by April 4, 2011 on the safe, orderly and expeditious redeployment of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, including a timeframe for the completion of the redeployment. By a vote of 162-260, it did not secure a majority vote. Garamendi also voted for an amendment by Rep. Barbara Lee that would restrict funding in Afghanistan to only what is necessary to have a safe and orderly withdrawal, protect soldiers and contractors on the ground, and carry out diplomatic . . .

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The Books We Carried

In the fall of 1962, the Peace Corps Volunteers arriving in Ethiopia were reading, or had packed into our carry-on luggage, Catch 22 by Joe Heller; The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone; Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger; Exodus by Leon Uris. And, of course, The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell. There were, I’m sure, a few other books being read on that long overnight flight on TWA out of the old Idlewild  Airport in New York to Rome and Athens, and then in the fleet of Ethiopian DC-6Bs into Africa. There were nearly 300 of us crossing Egypt and Sudan to arrive in Addis Ababa at dawn at the end of the “big rains” when the Ethiopian highlands are blanketed with bright yellow Maskel flowers. We stepped from the plane and smelled for the first time the burning of a hundred thousand eucalyptus fires — the smell of Africa . . .

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More Mad Women: Sally Bowles

Dick Irish, that old codger, has goosed me into recalling on paper a few more of the grand gals and guys who started the Peace Corps in the winter of  ’61. One woman who I remember fondly, and who was one of the class acts at the agency, was the very young and very charming, Sally Bowles, who was, everyone will agree, the first Peace Corps employee. She went to work for no pay at the Maiatico Building on March 1, 1961. Sally was the daughter of Ambassador Chester Bowles, an honors graduate in history from Smith College where she was named editor of the college newspaper and was elected president of the student body. By the time she arrived at the Peace Corps, she had traveled and lived in Southeast Asia, India, Mexico, Morocco, France and Spain. She had worked for Congressman John Brademas of  Indiana and as an administrative assistant to . . .

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Finding A Job In Magazine Publishing #5

Magazine staffs are usually broken down into two divisions: editorial and advertising. Editorial Assistant: Editorial staff are usually subdivided departmentally, depending on the focus and structure of the magazine. Again, the duties of the entry-level editorial assistant are largely administrative and/or clerical–but in addition to these, the assistant may also review manuscripts, give opinions on story proposals, line edit copy, generate story ideas, post items on the website, and even write for the magazine itself. Production cycles are much shorter in magazine publishing than they are in book publishing, since most magazines publish monthly or even weekly. Thus, the world of magazines can at times seem much more frenzied than the world of books, which moves at a slower and more deliberate pace. Advertising Assistant: Advertising assistants at magazines  help their bosses sell advertising space–and have done that, work very hard to maintain good relationships with advertisers so they’ll continue . . .

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Finding A Job In Publishing: Production Assistant # 4

A production assistant will work with copy editors, typographers, binders, and designers to help with the actual construction of a book. As more and more publishers realize that an unusual design or arresting cover art cn help sell books, this area of publishing is getting more fun and inventive. Of course, good copy editors have always been and will always be essential to publishing of any sort.

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June Books By Peace Corps Writers

Torn in the South Pacific by Jeff Bronow (Fiji 1988–90) PublishAmerica $24.95 246 pages June 2010 • Henry Walters and Bernard Berenson: Collector and Connoisseur by Stanley Mazaroff (Philippines 1961–63) The John Hopkins University Press $40.00 248 pages June 2010 • Cold Snap: Bulgaria Stories by Cynthia Morrison Phoel (Bulgaria 1994–96) Southern Methodist University press, $22.50 208  pages June 2010 • The Drums of Africa (Peace Corps Novel) by Tim Schell (Central African Republic 1978–79) Mammoth Books $15.95 247 pages 2007 • A Small Brown Dog with a Wet Pink Nose (Children K–3) by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen (Tanzania 1989–90); illustrated byLinzie Hunter Little, Brown Books for Young Readers $16.99 32 pages January 2010 • The Ghost of Milagro Creek by Melanie Sumner  (Senegal 1988-90) Algonquin $13.95 264 pages June 2010 • Go Home Bones (Poems) by Tony Zurlo (Nigeria 1964–66) Pudding House Chapbook Series $10.00 (to order jen@puddinghouse.com) 30 pages 2010 . . .

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