Archive - September 17, 2012

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Review of Heather Kaschmitter (Micronesia 2002-04) Memoir
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The New Yorker's RPCV Writers In Print and On-Line

Review of Heather Kaschmitter (Micronesia 2002-04) Memoir

I Was a Peace Corps Volunteer: Lost and Found in Micronesia By Heather Kaschmitter (Micronesia 2002-04) Create Space, $12 286 pages 2012 Reviewed by David H. Day (Kenya 1965-66; India 1967-69) Age 25 and fresh out of college in Washington State, and newly-accepted in the Peace Corps, Heather Kaschmitter found herself in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, a vast string of islands and coral atolls sprawled across tens of thousands of  miles of Pacific ocean. The islands stretch in an arc from Palau in the west, southeast to Kiribati north of Fiji. Today, largely on the margins of our consciousness, it’s an area well-known to the U.S. military, to artists and writers like Melville and Gaugin, and to a slew of anthropologists beginning with the pioneering visits of Bronislaw Malinowski, Margaret Mead and numerous others who have documented island cultures. When offered a chance to review Kaschmitter’s book, I jumped . . .

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The New Yorker's RPCV Writers In Print and On-Line

George Packer (Togo 1982-83) dissects the Republican and Democratic Conventions in “The Talk of the Town” column of The New Yorker, September 17, 2012, issue. Packer writes: “In Charlotte, the Democrats embraced the production values that the Republicans once monopolized: message disciple, clock management, and ego subordination (former Presidents excepted). They staged repetitious, unembarrassed salutes to the military. The Republicans’ allowing Clint Eastwood to improvise like an also-ran at a talent show, on their Convention’s most important night, only heightened the contrast.”  Later, he sums up what struck all of us who endured the events by noting, “In Tampa, the faces were overwhelming white, not young, and surprising impassive. In Charlotte, there was color, youth, and tears.” And this Friday, on The New Yorker Website, Peter Hessler (China 1996-98) now living and writing from Cairo, posted a report on the recent demonstrations against the U.S. government over the anti-Muslim film . . .

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