Archive - September 2012

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Tony D'Souza (Ivory Coast 2000-02, Madagascar 2002-03) on Sarasota, Writing and White-Collar Crime.
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Carrie Hessler-Radelet (Western Samoa 1981-83) Takes Over The Peace Corps As Acting Director
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Aaron Williams (Dominican Republic 1967-70) Says Goodbye To The Peace Corps. Thank You Aaron!
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Lora Parisien Begin (Tunisia 1989-91) Memoir
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More Good News for E-Book Writers
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HCN Remembers The Peace Corps In Turkemenistan
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Here's How to Advertise Your Book
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Talking to Eric Kiefer (Mongolia 2006-07)
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Review of Eric Kiefer (Mongolia 2005-06) Novel The Soft Exile
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Peter Lefcourt (Togo 1962-64)Takes on the French in his New Novel

Tony D'Souza (Ivory Coast 2000-02, Madagascar 2002-03) on Sarasota, Writing and White-Collar Crime.

[ Tony D’Souza  (Ivory Coast 2000-02, Madagascar 2002-03) talks about “Eyes Wide Shut,” his piece on the Nadel Ponzi scheme in the September issue of the Sarasota Magazine. You can read his article on Nadel’s Ponzi scheme in Longform.org alongside articles in The New Yorker, New York Times, and New York Review of Books. Longform.org was picked as one of the best websites of 2012 by Time.] http://longform.org/ An interview by Megan McDonald on the Sarasota Magazine blog: When we first met Tony D’Souza,  38, back in 2005, he was waiting tables at the old Metro Café on Osprey Avenue and about to publish his first novel, Whiteman, based on his experience with the Peace Corps in Africa’s Cote d’Ivoire. Fast forward a few years and D’Souza has gone on to publish two more novels and written for the New Yorker, Playboy, Outside and Esquire, among others; he’s also been featured . . .

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Carrie Hessler-Radelet (Western Samoa 1981-83) Takes Over The Peace Corps As Acting Director

Coming home from Europe early on Friday morning, September 21, 2012, Carrie Hessler-Radelet went directly to the Peace Corps Office in lower Manhattan for an 8 a.m. meeting with the recruitment staff. Next, she had lunch and a series of afternoon meetings with New York RPCVs, then plunged into a number of weekend events with world dignitaries in the U.S. for the United Nations General Assembly. Next, Carrie grabbed a train to D.C. for her first day on the job as Acting Peace Corps Director. It is the start of a new era at PC/HQ. Hessler-Radelet brings a great personality, great skills, and significant international experience to her new role. She also comes from four generations of PCVs. And she is married to an RPCV. In fact, the day after Carrie and Steve Radelet were married, they flew to Peace Corps Training for Western Samoa. The Peace Corps has been . . .

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Aaron Williams (Dominican Republic 1967-70) Says Goodbye To The Peace Corps. Thank You Aaron!

Aaron Williams (Dominican Republic 1967-70)  left the agency today. It was his last day on the job. He resigned, as he said,  for personal and family reasons. He was the RPCV Director since August of 2009 who traveled a tremendous amount to Peace Corps countries to visit PCVs in the field and his family handled his many trips overseas without complaint.  Aaron came into the agency at a difficult time, and has  (in my opinion) dealt with a number of  White House political appointees who were not RPCVs and did not get what it meant to be a PCV. He overcame their shortcomings and enhanced the Peace Corps. Now he deserves to focus his long and outstanding international career in a new direction. Wherever Aaron went as Director to RPCV reunions  the reports were always positive. RPCVs across the country emailed me to say, “he’s a good guy.” As we know from RPCVS that is high praise.  . . .

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Lora Parisien Begin (Tunisia 1989-91) Memoir

The Measure of a Dream;  A Peace Corps Story by Lora Parisien Begin (Tunisia 1988–91) A Peace Corps Book $16.96 356 pages July 2012 Reviewed by Kitty Thuermer (Mali 1977-79) When I sat down to read Lora Parisien Begin’s charming Peace Corps/Tunisia memoir, The Measure of a Dream, it was all about the misadventures of Bridget Jones in the Casbah — she who tripped her way through the labyrinthian back alleys of Islam — fueled by mint tea and self-deprecating naivite. The soundtrack, of course, was the crackling call to prayer — deafeningly delivered by loudspeaker at 4 a.m. Yet two days into my read, I was shocked to hear the news that all hell had broken loose in her beloved host country. That Tunisia — famous for igniting the flame of the Arab Spring, yes — was now aflame with a darker anti-American purpose, as evidenced by the carcasses of . . .

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More Good News for E-Book Writers

The New York Times on Wednesday, September 19, 2012, published an article that says Scott Rudin, the film and theater producer, and Barry Diller, the chairmen of IAC/InterActiveCorp, have formed a partnership and with publishing executive, Frances Coady, and will publish e-books under a new venture called Brightline. According to the article in the NYTIMES (written by David Carr) E-books now account for more than 15 percent of publishers’ revenue, and Carr writes, “posing a challenge to the dominance of print in the long run and leaving the future of brick-and-mortar bookstores in doubt.” Fiction it seems sells best, and major publishers are saying that e-book copies sell more than print copies. The hope of all these partners in Brightline is that the new enterprise, without the legal coy costs and practices of traditional publishing , can find traction. Rudin, in the article states that he he often heard from authors . . .

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HCN Remembers The Peace Corps In Turkemenistan

[This is from http://www.eurasianet.org Written ‘Guljemal,’ a pseudonym for the writer, a Turkmen citizen. Editor note.] Turkmenistan: Reflections on the Demise of the Peace Corps September 19, 2012 – 4:12pm, by Guljemal As a young Turkmen woman who was deeply influenced by interaction with Peace Corps volunteers in the 1990s, I was filled with a wide spectrum of emotions upon hearing about the Peace Corps’ departure from Turkmenistan. Everyone who followed developments in the country suspected that the Peace Corps’ days there were numbered. To some, it was strange that the government of Turkmenistan dragged it out for so long. Even so, the late August announcement was sobering. Reflecting on the Peace Corps’ legacy in Turkmenistan, some questions popped into my head: How effective was it in promoting democratization? How great a loss is its departure for the Turkmen people? How much did and could it achieve in the country . . .

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Talking to Eric Kiefer (Mongolia 2006-07)

Talking to Eric Kiefer by Larry Lihosit (Honduras 1975-77) Lihosit: Why write a novel about the Peace Corps instead of a memoir? Kiefer: Memoir often tends to force a reader into certain prejudgments about what the book needs to be. Memoirs happened. The difference between a memoir and a novel is plot development and this book is about as far as I could push the line. There were experiences/settings/characters I wanted to portray that quite simply, didn’t happen. There’s something to be said about that holy connection between the real and the imagined. That’s the power and beauty of a novel, after all. Lihosit: You have written non-fiction. Did you find fiction more difficult? Why? Kiefer: I’ve always found that writing nonfiction is much more confining and claustrophobic, but I tend to sweat more when I write fiction. When I was working as a newspaper reporter, the stories were always laid . . .

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Review of Eric Kiefer (Mongolia 2005-06) Novel The Soft Exile

The Soft Exile By Eric Kiefer (Mongolia 2005-06) Gentleman Tree Publishing. $12.94 220 pages 2012 Reviewed by Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras, 1975-77) Fans of a young Richard Brautigan (Confederate General in Big Sur) and J.D. Salinger (Catcher In the Rye) will appreciate this debut novel told in first-person. Like the former, there are mini-chapters and understated gallows humor. As is true with the latter, the book also includes cynicism by the privileged. It is also a very different fictional Peace Corps portrait than those written by pioneer volunteers years ago which leads to the question: how and why have we changed? For other aspiring Peace Corps volunteer novelists, take note. This is a commercially published book. Mr. Kiefer is among the elite ten percent of former volunteers who found a commercial publisher and I salute him. Hopefully, this is the first of many books that he will write. In this . . .

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Peter Lefcourt (Togo 1962-64)Takes on the French in his New Novel

Peter Lefcourt (Togo 1962-64) takes on the French in his New Novel! If you love to hate the French and/or hate to love show business, this just may be the book for you:  Five Americans on the loose at the Cannes Film Festival. Merde happens. Big time.  The French Ministry of Culture tried unsuccessfully to get a restraining order against the publication of this book.  Now finally available for your Kindle or iPad is Le Jet Lag! What the book is about: As I wrote, five Americans on the loose at the Cannes Film Festival: the ambitious intern resolved to sleep her way to the bottom; the actor who winds up spending seven nights in different beds; the publicist whose job is to make sure the studio’s film does not win an award; the gay head of publicity involuntarily channeling Golda Meir; and, back for an encore (after The Deal . . .

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