Archive - February 16, 2012

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Review of David Mather's One for the Road
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Roland Merullo (Micronesia 1979-80)Wins Alex Award

Review of David Mather's One for the Road

One for the Road David Mather (Chile 1968–70) Peace Corps Writers 400 pages $14.95 (paperback) 2011 Reviewed by Reilly Ridgell (Micronesia 1971–73) THERE ARE SOME 32 PEACE CORPS NOVELS listed in the Peace Corps Worldwide bibliography. I’ve now read four and written one. From that small sample, I’m beginning to detect some patterns that may hinder us Peace Corps novelists from achieving the success we dream of.  Generally speaking, the Peace Corps novels that I’ve read tend to be long on setting and short on plot. In fact, and I was guilty of this, the plot tends to be a vehicle with which to provide the reader with all kinds of information about the Peace Corps experience. Sometimes we end up with novels that read like memoirs. We are just so affected by our time in Peace Corps and how different life can be somewhere other than a US suburb that . . .

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Roland Merullo (Micronesia 1979-80)Wins Alex Award

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is a national association of librarians, library workers and advocates library services for teens. Each year they give out an Alex Awards for ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults. The winning titles are selected from the previous year’s publishing. The Alex Awards were first given annually beginning in 1998 and became an official ALA award in 2002. One of the winning books this year is The Talk-Funny Girl (Crown, July 2011) written by Roland Merullo (Micronesia 1979–80). The  novel is set in central western New Hampshire. It is the story of a seventeen-year-old girl who lives with her parents in a cabin in the woods. They belong to a cult that believes the sins of the adults are forgiven through the suffering of the children. (“Suffer the little children. . .” a Biblical verse they grossly misinterpret.) They are abusive and . . .

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