Archive - November 9, 2011

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Review of Leslie Noyes Mass' Back to Pakistan: A Fifty-Year Journey
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Remembering Alan Weiss by Ed Gruberg (Nigeria 1962-64) Final

Review of Leslie Noyes Mass' Back to Pakistan: A Fifty-Year Journey

Back to Pakistan: A Fifty-Year Journey by Leslie Noyes Mass (Pakistan 1962–64) Rowman and Littlefield Publishers $32.95 212 pages (paperback) 2011 Reviewed by  David Day (Kenya 1965–66; India 1967–68) IN THIS ACCOUNT of her initial Peace Corps assignment in rural western Pakistan from 1962 to 1964, and a return visit forty-seven years later, in 2009, Leslie Mass gives us tightly-focused access to the lives of women and a range of attempts to educate them in arguably one of the world’s most dangerous countries. It’s a glimpse not often seen in terrorism-haunted media coverage of this troublesome, strategically important Muslim nation. As part of her titular “journey,” we are taken — with the aid of numerous excerpts from letters written to George (a close friend and later, husband), and verbatim transcripts from tape recordings of conversations — from the dusty alleys of small villages to the snow-capped peaks of the Karakoram . . .

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Remembering Alan Weiss by Ed Gruberg (Nigeria 1962-64) Final

[Another RPCV, Ed Gruberg, wrote me about Alan Weiss and his thoughts of Alan as a person and a writer.] I always expected Weiss to become a famous writer. How could he not be? He was smart and witty and was a great storyteller. He had a fine ear and he relished pointing out other people’s flaws. He worked very hard, wrote hours every day. All he had to do was get it down on paper. In his short life he published very little: one novel; one extended soliloquy to Ibadan that I published in Voyeur, a small magazine I ran; and one scholarly mathematical article on totitives, co-authored with a Yoruba colleague, Victor Olunloyo that was published twice – in an American mathematics journal and a British mathematics journal. He left unfinished a novel about Nigeria as it unraveled in the sixties. A piece about Malcolm X’s speech at the . . .

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