Archive - July 2014

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John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962–64) publishes Long Ago and Far Away
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Review: Lauren Greasewater’s War by Stephen Hirst (Liberia 1962-64)
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Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet also a victim of a sexual assault during Peace Corps Service.
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Carrie launches all out campaign to increase applications by almost three fold!
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New Books by Peace Corps writers: April-June 2014
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Rich Schneider (Philippines 1969–71, 1974-77) publishes Living with the Pinatubo Aetas
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Knut Royce (Ethiopia 1962–64) & co-author release new edition of The Italian Letter
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Coyne Calls It Quits
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Nominate Your Favorite Peace Corps Book
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Review of Raven Moore's (Cote d'Ivoire 2000-02) Padre!

John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962–64) publishes Long Ago and Far Away

Yes, our very own, recently retired editor has just published his latest novel — it’s number 13! Here’s what John has to say about his new book in his PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE LONG AGO AND FAR AWAY By John Coyne Displaying the storytelling skill that has made him a seven-time bestselling author, John Coyne delivers a suspenseful, haunting and tender story about star-crossed lovers who first meet in their twenties and four decades later are reunited. The novel takes place on three continents, and involves the lives of four main characters. The plot pivots around the tragic death in 1973 of a young woman in Ethiopia. The outcome of a trial changes the lives of the four young people, leaving unresolved the question of whether it was an accident or murder. Long Ago and Far Away opens in Westchester, New York, in 2008, and through a series of . . .

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Review: Lauren Greasewater’s War by Stephen Hirst (Liberia 1962-64)

Lauren Greasewater’s War (novel) by Stephen Hirst (Liberia 1962–1964) Muuso Press 2013 238 pages $14.99 (paperback), $7.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Darcy Meijer (Gabon 1982–84) The front cover of Lauren Greasewater’s War by Stephen Hirst is an Edward Curtis photo from 1907 depicting the full face of a Havasupai woman. From the first page until the dramatic finish, Hirst relates a gripping story that could well have occurred in 1970s Arizona within the Native American Havasupai community. Lauren Greasewater’s War comprises five parts: Cradle, Blood, Song, Shelter and War. The first four develop the themes of the novel — origin, family, spirituality and home, while the last part brings these together. In brief, New York lutenist Lauren Napier, adopted by a white family as an infant, learns her true parentage and travels to the Havasupai canyonlands in the Southwest to find out more. Strong-willed and driven by the need for senses . . .

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Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet also a victim of a sexual assault during Peace Corps Service.

Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet  made this revelation  in an interview in MORE magazine. During this in-depth interview, the Director talked about the new application process as well as other changes in the Peace Corps. In discussing her own Peace Corps service, she referenced what had happened to her and how important safety and security for Volunteers was to her, now. The interview is made all the more gripping because it was conducted by Beatrice Hogan, RPCV Uzbekistan 92-94,who served as part of the first wave of volunteers sent to the former Soviet Union. Hogan is now Research Chief at MORE. Read the interview. Here is the link: http://www.more.com/news/personalities/carrie-hessler-radelet-peace-corps-director

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Carrie launches all out campaign to increase applications by almost three fold!

Peace Corps is suddenly being promoted everywhere. A glamorous Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet appeared on RPCV Chris Matthews “Hardball” TV show. President Obama announces in a new TV commercial “Peace Corps Wants You.”The focus of the attention is the rollout of the new, streamlined application process. Numerous articles are describing and analyzing this new “quick” application process. To begin at the beginning, The Peace Corps Blog, Passport, has the announcement of the new process. Here is the text of the Passport Post: “The notion of going to another country to teach skills and learn about a different culture doesn’t seem out of the ordinary today, but for much of the Peace Corps’ history, we were the only volunteer program that let Americans make a difference and see the world. Over the course of 52 years, Peace Corps has sent 215,000 trained and skilled Americans to work beside people in host countries, . . .

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New Books by Peace Corps writers: April-June 2014

To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com, click on the book cover, the bold book title, or the format you would like — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance that will help support our annual writers awards. • The Dandy Vigilante (mystery) by Kevin Daley (Samoa 1986-89) Anaphora Literary Press 252 pages March 2014 $19.00 (paperback), $3.99 (Kindle) • Lauren Greasewater’s War: A Grand Canyon Novel (novel) by Stephen Hirst (Liberia 1962–64) Muuso Press 246 pages April 2014 $14.95 (paperback), $7.99 (Kindle) For more about the book (and how to get a free digital download) • When the Whistling Stopped (novel) by David J. Mather (Chile 1968–70) Peace Corps Writers 274 pages June 2014 $12.95 (paperback), $6.95 (Kindle) • Kilometer 99 (Peace Corps novel) by Tyler McMahon (El Salvador 1999–02) St. Martin’s Griffin 344 pages June 2014 $14.99 (paperback), $9.99 (Kindle) PCWriters review . . .

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Rich Schneider (Philippines 1969–71, 1974-77) publishes Living with the Pinatubo Aetas

After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife biology from Michigan State University in 1969, Rich Schneider volunteered for the Peace Corps, which had sounded like a life-altering opportunity – and he wasn’t ready for marriage and a career. As a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) assigned to the Philippines, Rich lived in the remote mountain village of Villar from June 1969 through June 1971, and worked with Pinatubo Aetas, an indigenous people, to increase their rice yield. The Aetas lived in permanent dwellings on a government reservation each assigned about 0.6 hectare (1.5 acres) of land suitable for planting rice. They had given up slash-and-burn agriculture, and on this land started traditional rice farming. Rich’s assignment was to assist the Aetas increase their rice yield per hectare from 30 to 80 cavans (1 cavan = 50 kilograms) using the improved rice varieties and enhanced cultivation practices developed at the . . .

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Knut Royce (Ethiopia 1962–64) & co-author release new edition of The Italian Letter

The Huffington Post reports: More than a decade after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, veteran journalists Peter Eisner and Knut Royce are releasing a new [Kindle] edition of their groundbreaking book, The Italian Letter [first published in 2007]. More relevant than ever, The Italian Letter provides explosive, historic insights for a greater understanding of the Iraq War and how the United States got there. Here is a report by Royce on the hoax that helped launch the U.S. invasion and led to today’s disintegration of the country. Read Knut’s report at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/knut-royce/italian-letter-iraq-invasion_b_5574204.html The Italian Letter by Peter Eisner and Knut Royce Amazon Digital 288 print pages $5.95 (Kindle)

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Coyne Calls It Quits

The first panel discussion I had for and about Peace Corps Writers was held in September 1986 under a huge tent on the Mall in Washington, D.C. at the 25th Anniversary of the Peace Corps.  That was twenty-eight years ago. At the time we had several dozen RPCV writers who had established international reputations with their writings. Among them were Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65) who by that summer of ’86 had already published 20 books, including Great Railway Bazaar, published in 1975. This book “reinvented” travel writing. In 1986 Richard Wiley (Korea 1967-69) published Soldiers in Hiding, winner of that year’s PEN/Faulkner Award; Bob Shacochis (Eastern Caribbean 1975-76) first collection of stories, Easy in the Islands, won the ’86 National Book Award for First Fiction. His second collection, The Next New World, was awarded the Prix de Rome from the Academy of Arts and Letters; Kathleen Coskran (Ethiopia 1965-67) won . . .

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Nominate Your Favorite Peace Corps Book

It is time to nominate your favorite Peace Corps book published in 2013 for the Peace Corps Writers annual awards. Make your nomination(s) in the comment section following this announcement so people can see what books have been recognized. You may nominate your own book; books written by friends; books written by total strangers. The books can be about the Peace Corps or on any topic. The books must have been published in 2013. The awards will be announced in August. Thank you for nominating your favorite book written by a PCV, RPCV or Peace Corps Staff. A framed certificate and money are given to the winners. Email your nominations to jpcoyne@optonline.net. Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award First given in 1990, the Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award was named to honor Paul Cowan, a Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Ecuador. Cowan wrote The Making of An Un-American about his experiences as a Volunteer in . . .

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Review of Raven Moore's (Cote d'Ivoire 2000-02) Padre!

Padre! A Place Whose Rules Rearrange Your Own By Raven Moore (Cote d’Ivoire 2000-02) Books by Raven, $19.99 (paper); $9.99 (Kindle) 338 pages 2013 Reviewed by Deidre Swesnik (Mali 1996-98) “The Ivoirien children who you see me living with on the cover of this book are poor, but poverty is not a permanent condition, nor does it have a recognizable face.  Color was and is not often the reason for our mistreatment of one another.  The Egyptians, the Moors, the Mongolians, the Romans, the Jews, the British, the Ottomans, the Dutch, the Americans, the Mandinka, the Mayans, and more; the list of conquerors is as diverse as those conquered.  Ivoiriens in the Ivory Coast – La Cote d’Ivoire as it is called in West Africa – have it badly, but I’m not here to make you feel sorry for Ivoiriens.  Feel sorry for me that it took me so long . . .

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