Archive - April 22, 2011

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The Peace Corps Volunteer as a Fictional Character

The Peace Corps Volunteer as a Fictional Character

From the first days of the agency, Peace Corps Volunteers have been rich source for  “characters” in novels not written by RPCVs. The first books about “PCVs” were YAs, young adult novels, not serious fiction. In 1963, Breaking the Bonds: A Novel about the Peace Corps, written by Sharon Spencer, had a short introduction by Sargent Shriver and was dedicated to “All Peace Corps Volunteers serving the world with discipline, determination, endurance, and a rare idealism.” This novel is set in Nigeria. In 1965 came a series of young adult novels entitled Kathy Martin: Peace Corps Nurse, about a Volunteer in Africa. Another “nursing novel” for a YA audience was written by Rachel G. Payes and published by Avalon Books in 1967. In 1968 came the most popular of all “Peace Corps novels,” The Zinzin Road. Written by a very successful commercial novelist and political writer, Fletcher Knebel, worked briefly as a . . .

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