Archive - October 27, 2011

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Review of Adventures in Gabon: Peace Corps Stories from the African Rainforest
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What were you reading when you arrived in-country?

Review of Adventures in Gabon: Peace Corps Stories from the African Rainforest

Adventures in Gabon: Peace Corps Stories from the African Rainforest Edited by Darcy Munson Meijer (Gabon 1982–84) A Peace Corps Writers Book 216 pages $15.95 September, 2011 Reviewed by Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras 1975–77) IF YOU SERVED IN GABON as a Peace Corps Volunteer, Adventures in Gabon will be like a yearbook and a reunion all in one. It is a book of anecdotes by more than thirty writers who served between 1962 and 2005. This is the only Peace Corps book I have ever read that included accounts from years covering the entire Peace Corps experience in one nation (the Gabon program closed in 2005). Unlike most Peace Corps anthologies, this one includes contributions by Volunteers who served after 1980. Equally unusual, the name of Sargent Shriver — first director of the Peace Corps — is never mentioned, and President John Kennedy is mentioned only once. Divided into seven . . .

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What were you reading when you arrived in-country?

I spotted a small item in the October 24, 2011, issue of The New Yorker entitled, “Thalia Book Club.” It was about a panel discussion taking place at the wonderful Symphony Space on the Upper West Side of Manhattan focus on Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. The novel was first published fifty years ago this year. Lesley Stahl was the moderator of the panel that included Robert Gottlieb, who edited the novel; writer Christopher Buckley; Mike Nichols, the director of the 1970 film based on the book; and the actor Scott Shepherd who read an excerpt for the book.   I knew Heller (very slightly) as we use to work out at the same West Side YMCA back in the Seventies. And I was also close friends of a close friend of his when I lived on the island of Menorca. My friend, who was a writer, would tell me great stories about Heller. But spotting this panel announcement what I recalled . . .

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