Archive - March 2013

1
A Writer Writes: Thai Comic Books
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The World According to P. F. Kluge (Micronesia 1967-69)
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January-February 2013 Books by Peace Corps Writers
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Review of George Gurney's (Guatemala 1962-63) A Jouranl of the First Peace Corps Project
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A Cambodian family escapes the Killing Fields as told to Karline F. Bird (Thailand 1968-70)

A Writer Writes: Thai Comic Books

This is the title poem of a new collection of poems — Thai Comic Books: Poems from my life in Thailand with the Peace Corps: 1967-1969 by Burgess Needle, published by Big Table Publishing. His first collection, Every Crow in the Blue Sky, was published by Diminuendo Press in 2009. He is currently editing a journal he kept while teaching in Thailand. Thai Comic Books by Burgess Needle (Thailand 1967–69) It wasn’t a school day, but these children looked as if they’d never been in school regardless of the time They were far more intimate with the water buffalo under the bridge than with texts or blackboards While all around spring rice planting went on forever and ever as it had all their brief lives and the only excitement occurred when the foreigner arrived, sat on a bench right on their own bridge and opened pages and pages of pictures . . .

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The World According to P. F. Kluge (Micronesia 1967-69)

Paul Frederick Kluge, commonly known as P. F. Kluge, is a novelist living in Gambier, Ohio. Kluge was raised in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. He graduated from Kenyon College in Gambier in 1964, then went to the University of Chicago for his Ph.D., and at the age of twenty-five he joined the Peace Corps. He wanted to be a writer and he wanted to be sent to Ethiopia or Turkey, where he thought he might soak up the culture that would make him a novelist, but as he relates in this video, the Peace Corps, in only Peace Corps logic, he was sent to Micronesia where the islands became his paradise in more ways than one.  On the islands, he would write the novel The Day That I Die, published in 1976. He would next write the classic Eddie And The Cruisers in ’80; Season for War in ’84; MacArthur’s Ghost, ’85; The Edge of Paradise: America in Micronesia in ’91, . . .

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January-February 2013 Books by Peace Corps Writers

To order books whose titles are in blue from Amazon, click on the title or book cover — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance that will help support our annual writers’ awards. The Market Bowl (Ages 5–8, set in Cameroon) by Jim Averbeck (Cameroon 1990–94) Charlesbridge $16.95 (hardcover) 32 pages 2013 • Hard as Kerosene (Peace Corps novel) by Aaron Barlow (Togo 1988–90) Peace Corps Writers Book $9.95 (paperback), $1.99 (Kindle) 268 pages January 2013 • Strange Borderlands (Poems) by Ben Berman (Zimbabwe 1998-2000) Able Muse Press $18.95 (paperback), $9.99 (Kindle) 104 pages January 2013 • The Gringo: A Memoir by J. Grigsby Crawford (Ecuador 2009–11) Wild Elephant Press $15.95 (paperback), $9.99 (Kindle) 225 pages 2013 • Pit Stop in the Paris of Africa by Julie R. Dargis (Morocco 1984–87) Indie House Press $14.95 (paperback), $7.49 (Kindle) 258 pages 2013 • • Lure of . . .

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Review of George Gurney's (Guatemala 1962-63) A Jouranl of the First Peace Corps Project

Guatemala One:  A Journal of the First Peace Corps Project by George Gurney (1962–63) Self-Published $10.95 (paperback) 255 pages 2011 Reviewed by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993–95) “In November of 1962, training began for the first Peace Corps project to work in the Central American country of Guatemala. In the spring of 1963, the first group of volunteers arrived in time for a military coup.” George “Lee” Gurney joined a group of Volunteers who trained in New York City, Puerto Rico, and at New Mexico State College before embarking upon a journey that widened his horizons forever. In his early twenties, he also found his wife in the Peace Corps. They both worked to help the people of rural Guatemala, but both suffered recurring health problems that truncated their tours. Many years after his Peace Corps experience, Gurney decided to write his memoir, which is actually a diary more than . . .

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A Cambodian family escapes the Killing Fields as told to Karline F. Bird (Thailand 1968-70)

Bending with the Wind: Memoir of a Cambodian Couple’s Escape to America by Bounchoeurn Sao and Diyana D. Sao (as told to Karline F. Bird (Thailand 1968-70) McFarland & Company, Inc. $35.00 210 pages 2012 Reviewed by Collin Tong (Thailand 1968-69) With the fall of Phnom Penh on April 20, 1975 and the ascendancy of the Khmer Rouge came the closing of Cambodia’s border and a cataclysmic reorganization of Cambodian society. As documented in previous histories and first-person accounts, the Cambodian nightmare led to the wave of terror marked by torture and the extermination of intelligentsia. More than two million people, a quarter of the population, perished in the Killing Fields. In 1970, the United States and South Vietnamese forces invaded eastern Cambodia, driving the North Vietnamese army further west. A young Cambodian double agent working for American and Cambodian Special Forces, Bounchoeurn Sao, was stationed near the Cambodian and Lao border. . . .

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