Archive - September 2013

1
Clifford Garstang (Korea 1976-77) to Read In Washington, D.C.
2
The Peace Corps & Global Health Service Explain Themselves
3
I Get 'Dear John' Letters About Michiko Kakutani's Review of Norm Rush's Book
4
A Kinder, Gentler Review of Norm Rush's Subtle Bodies
5
And You Think You Get Bad Reviews!
6
A Writer Writes: The Lost Volunteer
7
View online conversation with PC Global Health Service Partnership Volunteers
8
Early Chile PCV and CD in Colombia Kirk E. BREED (Chile 1963-65) Dies in Sacramento, California
9
Eye on the 60s:Rowland Scherman Documentary in NYC
10
Where the Peace Corps Began: University of Michigan, October 14, 1960

Clifford Garstang (Korea 1976-77) to Read In Washington, D.C.

On Sunday, September 22, 2013, from 2:00 pm to 4: pm, RPCV writer, Clifford Garstang will be reading at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Garstang’s novel, What the Zhang Boys Know, has been named a finalist for the 2013 Library of VirginiaClifford GarstangAward in Fiction. (The other finalists are The Right-hand Shore by Christopher Tilghman and The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers.) Garstang’s award-winning collection of linked short stories, In an Uncharted Country, was published by Press 53 in 2009. This book won the 2010 Peace Corps Writers Maria Thomas Fiction Award. His work has appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Blackbird, Virginia Quarterly Review, Shenandoah, Cream City Review, Tampa Review, Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere and has received Distinguished Mention in the Best American Series. He is the editor of Prime Number Magazine and currently lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The Writer’s Center 4508 Walsh Street Bethesda, . . .

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The Peace Corps & Global Health Service Explain Themselves

Yesterday, September 17, 2013, Peace Corps Response arranged an interview with three of the Global Health Service Program/Peace Corps Response Volunteers. This is the new partnership program between Global Health Services and Peace Corps Response.This is the first year of the program. These are a total of 30 doctors and nurses who are assigned to teaching hospitals in Ghana, Malawi, and Tanzania.  Their primary mission is clinical education for host country doctors and nurses.  They will be in-country for one year. This interview was supposed to be a video, but there were technical problems.The three Volunteers participated via c-phones. One Volunteer nurse educator is assigned to Tanzania and she is a former Peace Corps Volunteer. Her husband is also in Tanzania as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer, not a GHS/PCR Volunteer. The other Volunteers are a husband and wife team assigned in Ghana.  She is a nurse educator and he has . . .

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I Get 'Dear John' Letters About Michiko Kakutani's Review of Norm Rush's Book

[This email comes for a New York City RPCV writer. This woman is always in the know!] Dear John, Having not read Norm Rush’s book I don’t know how on target the New York Times review is, but what I do know and have learned over the years is that Michiko Kakutani is a very unreliable reviewer. She lauds books that are totally middle-brow and then savages others that are may be flawed in certain ways, but mostly flawed because the author is reaching for a difficult effect. She also tends to overpraise an author early in his or her career and demolish him or her if she feels they’ve failed her in some way. And I use the reference to “her” advisedly.  It seems to be a deeply personal thing with her. I’ve heard she used to be a groupy following, I think, Paul Simon, in her younger days. . . .

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A Kinder, Gentler Review of Norm Rush's Subtle Bodies

The September 26, 2013, issue of The New York Review of Books has a long review of Subtle Bodies by Norm Rush (Botswana 1978-83 ) written by Francine Prose. Prose goes back over Rush’s literary history, his three novels that are set in Botswana, written in the years after Norm and his wife, Elsa, were co-directors in South Africa and then she focuses on where Rush is today. This novel is not set in Botswana. Published by Knopf this month, Subtle Bodies, takes place in New York’s Hudson Valley where Norm and Elsa have lived since (and before) the Peace Corps in Africa. Unlike Michiko Kakutani’s The New York Times review (September 17, 2013), novelist and critic Francine Prose finds much to appreciate in Norm’s new book. In her review, Prose makes the point that Rush writes novels for adults….”Rush endows his fictional creations with so much intelligence, complexity, and . . .

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And You Think You Get Bad Reviews!

September 16, 2013 Gazing Into Their Past Through Their Bellybuttons By MICHIKO KAKUTANI SUBTLE BODIES By Norman Rush 236 pages. Alfred A. Knopf. $26.95. The premise of this tiresome new novel by the critically acclaimed author Norman Rush sounds as if it had been lifted straight from “The Big Chill”: a group of now middle-aged college friends reunite to commemorate the death of one of their own. The result not only lacks that movie’s humor and groovy soundtrack but is also an eye-rollingly awful read. The novel’s preening, self-absorbed characters natter on endlessly about themselves in exchanges that sound more like outtakes from a dolorous group therapy session than like real conversations among longtime friends. Its title, “Subtle Bodies” – which refers to people’s “true interior selves,” whatever that means – is a perfect predictor of the novel’s solipsistic tone. Readers given to writing comments in their books are likely . . .

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A Writer Writes: The Lost Volunteer

The Lost Volunteer Whatever happened to Jim King? by Bob Criso (Nigeria & Somalia 1966-68) In the past, I spent a lot of time searching for Jim King, eager to talk with him about the last intense days that we spent together in Biafra. Jim was stationed at Macgregor Teacher Training College in Afikpo, about an hours ride from my house in Ishiagu on my Honda 50. When the war was heating up in the spring of ’67, Peace Corps Enugu gave me a van and a list of people to pick up in case of an emergency evacuation. Jim was on that list and I picked him up during the last-minute rush to leave the country. Jim, a tall, wiry, blond guy with glasses, was on the Peace Corps “whereabouts unknown” list for years. His family had moved from his last Altadena, California address while he was in Nigeria. . . .

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View online conversation with PC Global Health Service Partnership Volunteers

Join Pat Daoust – Chief Nursing Officer for Seed Global Health, Mike Robie – a recruiter from Peace Corps Response, and currently serving Peace Corps Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) Volunteers on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 12:00PM EST for a Google+ Hangout. This online conversation with GHSP Volunteers in the field is the first of its kind for Peace Corps and it is a unique opportunity for potential GHSP applicants to hear directly from those currently serving as physician or nurse educators. Share this Hangout with anyone who might be interested in serving in the GHSP or with those who would like to learn more about this new innovative program. The GHSP Hangout will be broadcast live on this event page for viewers to watch in real-time. CLICK to watch the live Google+ event. The video will connect to that event page at 12PM EST and you will be . . .

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Early Chile PCV and CD in Colombia Kirk E. BREED (Chile 1963-65) Dies in Sacramento, California

Kirk E. Breed (Chile 1963–65) began a long and distinguished career in public service in 1963 as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Chile and concluded his career serving as executive director of the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) from 2008 until his death on Wednesday, August 7, 2013, at the age of 73 after a brave battle against cancer. He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann, and their daughter, Cloe; three children from a previous marriage, Ashley (Chuck) Neumann, Shayna (Chris) Guigliano, and Monte Breed; three grandchildren, Wyatt and Halle Neumann and Piper Guigliano; and three sisters, Anna Osban, Gloria Headerlin, and Amelia Baugh and many nieces and nephews. His homespun ways stood out in the hard-boiled world of politics and endeared him to those who appreciated his plain speaking and simple truths. Upon learning of Mr. Breed’s passing Governor Jerry Brown reflected, ‘(Kirk) was a special, unique human . . .

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Eye on the 60s:Rowland Scherman Documentary in NYC

Eye on the 60s: Rowland Scherman Documentary On Thursday, September 19th there will be a screening of Eye on the 60s, Chris Szwedo’s documentary on photographer Rowland Scherman. There will be two screenings at 7 and 9:30. Tickets will be $10 and refreshments will be provided. Sizes:   Color: Black and White FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL GALLERIES: SOHO, NYC 124 Prince Street New York, NY 10012 212-941-8770 https://www.morrisonhotelgallery.com/set/default.aspx?setID=2576

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Where the Peace Corps Began: University of Michigan, October 14, 1960

I received a few days ago a copy of this documentary film of the founding of the Peace Corps at the University of Michigan. It was produced for the University of Michigan on the 50th anniversary of the agency. It was sent to me by Al Guskin (Thailand 1961-64), then a graduate student in social psychology in 1961 when Kennedy spoke at 2 a.m. on the steps of the University of Michigan Student Union and introduced the idea of a ‘peace corps’ to the students who had waited up all night to hear him. Al, and his wife Judy (Thailand 1961-64), a graduate student in comparative literature, would go the next day to form the “Americans Committed to World Responsibility” which organized students throughout the midwest to become part of this ‘student movement’. I was, with several others, Bill Donohoe (Ethiopia 19621-64), Dick Joyce (Philippians 1962-64), Leo Reno (Liberia 1963-65) . . .

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