Archive - December 28, 2011

A Review of Chris Starace's To Benin and Back

A Review of Chris Starace's To Benin and Back

To Benin and Back: Short Stories, essays and reflections about Life in Benin as a Peace Corps Volunteer and the Subsequent Readjustment Process by Chris Starace (Benin 1995–97) iUniverse 313pages $29.95 (hardback), $19.95 (paperback), $7.69 (Kindle) 2011 Reviewed by David H. Day (Kenya 1965–66; India 1967–68) AS WORDS BEGAN TO TUMBLE off the first pages of Chris  Starace’s new memoir of his Peace Corps assignment in Benin, I realized I was in for a riveting ride through the author’s two-year experience in this tropical, sub-Saharan country. I held in my hands a model of confessional humility, self-reflection and exquisite narrative detail this reviewer hasn’t seen in most recent Peace Corps writing. Page after page, Starace’s perceptual antennae tuned to every single cultural subtlety, nuance and innuendo of social interaction, I had absolutely no choice but to applaud this author’s incredible ability to savor every moment — even the hardships and . . .

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