Archive - July 28, 2014

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The NY Times on Jason Carter (S Africa 1998–2000) and his grandfather
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Tom Bissell (Uzbekistan 1996-97) writes about Wm. T. Vollmann

The NY Times on Jason Carter (S Africa 1998–2000) and his grandfather

The New York Times ran a lengthy, front-page article in its Sunday edition (7/27/14) about Peace Corps writer Jason Carter (South Africa 1998–2000) who is the Democratic candidate for Governor in Georgia, and the close relationship he has with his grandfather, former President Jimmy Carter. The article relates that Jason was advised to join the Peace Corps by his grandfather. In 2002, Jason published his memoir of his Peace Corps experience, Power Lines: Two Years on South Africa’s Borders (National Geographic Society) and in 2003 the book won the Peace Corps Writers Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award. Read “Grandson Proudly Squirms in Carter’s Footsteps” by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, for insight into the special bond between these two men.

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Tom Bissell (Uzbekistan 1996-97) writes about Wm. T. Vollmann

The August issue of New Republic carries a long (and engaging) piece by Tom Bissell (Uzbekistan 1996–97) entitled, “You Are Now Entering The Demented Kingdom of William T. Vollmann.” Vollmann, as Tom writes, “has been churning out thick, conceptually audacious books faster than New York publishing could keep pace. From 1987 through 1993, for instance, Vollmann published eight books through five difference houses.” It turns out that Tom Bissell first came upon Vollmann’s vast outpouring when he was 26 and an assistant at Henry Holt. Vollmann had sent in his manuscript, Rising Up and Rising Down, on compact disks that translated into 3,800 pages of paper Tom had to print out for his editor. In an interview with Vollman this year, Bissell appears to have been taken back by the strangeness of the man who, among other things, was listed as a Unabomber suspect. Vollmann found out that only when . . .

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