Archive - August 2018

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EVERYWHERE STORIES Contributor Spotlight: Mark Jacobs (Paraguay)
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Winner of the 2017 Award for Best Book of Photography
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Winner of the 2017 Travel Award for Best Travel Book
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Winner of the 2017 Award for Best Short Story Collection
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Winner of the 2017 Moritz Thomsen Award for Memoir 
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RPCVs Are Everywhere! (Uzbekistan)
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Latest List of RPCV Ambassadors 8/20/18
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Winner of the 2017 Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award
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RPCVs Alan Toth and Lauren Schwartzman are finalists in Student Academy Awards
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Winner of the 2017 Maria Thomas Fiction Award

EVERYWHERE STORIES Contributor Spotlight: Mark Jacobs (Paraguay)

  Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet Volume III is now available for pre-order. Like the earlier volumes, this book includes 20 short stories, by 20 writers, set in 20 countries. • Mark Jacobs’s story in Everywhere Stories III, “Getting Out, ” is set in Côte d’Ivoire. Mark comments on “Getting Out”: During several visits to Africa, I ran into Lebanese who were living and working in countries that were and were not their own. In some cases, they were born in Africa, like the principal characters in “Getting Out,” who were born in Côte d’Ivoire. But they retained their Arabic, their French, even if they learned indigenous languages. And they retained their cultural identity as Lebanese. It struck me as a condition of permanent exile. Their experience was quite different from that of my father’s family, who emigrated to the United States in the early years of the twentieth . . .

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Winner of the 2017 Award for Best Book of Photography

To further fulfill its goals to encourage, recognize and promote Peace Corps writers, RPCV Writers & Readers, the newsletter that was the precursor of PeaceCorpsWriters.org and PeaceCorpsWorldwide.org, presented its first annual awards for outstanding writing in 1990. A total of 143 awards have been given since that time. Winner of the 2017 Award for Best Book of Photography   A Silhouette of Liberia — Photographs: 1974-1977 by Michael H.  Lee (Liberia 1974–76) Michael H. Lee August 2017 136 pages $59.99 (hardcover) Reviewed by: Danielle Yoder (Panama 2012-2014) A Silhouette of Liberia Photographs: 1974–1977 exhibits beautiful photography of Liberia’s landscape, architecture and people from a time when very little has been preserved. Mr. Lee walks us through his experience living, serving and working in Liberia. Through his lens he is able to capture what one might see in an ordinary day in Liberia, as well as intimate settings such as illusive secret societies . . .

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Winner of the 2017 Travel Award for Best Travel Book

To further fulfill its goals to encourage, recognize and promote Peace Corps writers, RPCV Writers & Readers, the newsletter that was the precursor of PeaceCorpsWriters.org and PeaceCorpsWorldwide.org, presented its first annual awards for outstanding writing in 1990. A total of 143 awards have been given since that time. Winner of the 2017 Award for Best Travel Book Writing Abroad: A Guide for Travelers By Peter Chilson (Niger (1985-87) & Joanne B. Mulcahy The University of Chicago Press 224 pages $22.50 (paperback), $67.50 (cloth), $13.50 (Kindle) Reviewed by David Arnold (Ethiopia 1964-66) EDITING THE WORK of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, I have learned that travel writing seems at first to be the easiest form of written narrative. That may be true if only you and your grandchildren are going to read it, but publishable travel writing is hard work. Most readers of a travel story in a magazine, a book or on . . .

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Winner of the 2017 Award for Best Short Story Collection

To further fulfill its goals to encourage, recognize and promote Peace Corps writers, RPCV Writers & Readers, the newsletter that was the precursor of PeaceCorpsWriters.org and PeaceCorpsWorldwide.org, presented its first annual awards for outstanding writing in 1990. A total of 143 awards have been given since that time. Winner of the 2017 Award for Best Short Story Collection Spectators (Flash fiction — stories) by Rob Davidson (Grenada 1990–92) Five Oaks Press May 2017 $16.00 (paperback) Reviewed by D.W. Jefferson El Salvador (1974-6) & Costa Rica (1976-77). This is a slender volume of only 56 pages, but, unlike a novel of similar length, it should not be a quick read. These essays deserve re-reading and study. Ultimately this book is about the compulsion to write or engage in other artistic endeavor, the need to give meaning to life by expressing oneself. For that which one cannot help but do becomes that which one . . .

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Winner of the 2017 Moritz Thomsen Award for Memoir 

To further fulfill its goals to encourage, recognize and promote Peace Corps writers, RPCV Writers & Readers, the newsletter that was the precursor of PeaceCorpsWriters.org and PeaceCorpsWorldwide.org, presented its first annual awards for outstanding writing in 1990. A total of 143 awards have been given since that time. Winner of the 2017 Moritz Thomsen Award for Memoir  Walled In Walled Out by Mary Dana Marks (Iran 1964–66) Peace Corps Writers Books 348 pages April 2017 Reviewed by John Krauskopf (Iran 1965–67) WALLED IN WALLED OUT IS A CAPTIVATING MEMOIR.  The Kennedy-era idealism lured young Mary Beckett Marks into the Peace Corps to serve for two years in conservative Kerman, Iran. This sojourn forced the author to struggle to adjust to the Kermani culture and to mature many of the ideas that have guided her life since. The memoir traces Mary’s emotional reaction to the culture, her feelings, frustrations and adjustments. During a . . .

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RPCVs Are Everywhere! (Uzbekistan)

Leafing through Unhinged An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House by Omarosa Manigault Newman that was published a week or so ago by  Gallery Books, an Imprint of Simon and Schuster, I checked out the ‘Acknowledgements’ (page 332) as I often do to see if there is anyone I might know. Omarosa signals out to thank, Valerie Frankel, a well respected freelance writer in New York City who obviously did the ghost writing of this book. Omarosa writes to Valerie, “Thanks again for helping me share my memories and make happy new ones.” She then goes onto to thank her fact-checkers and writes, “Without researchers like Beatrice Hogan….this book would not have been possible.” Beatrice Hogan (Uzbekistan 1992-94) is a well respected freelance researcher for magazines and books in New York City. RPCVs are everywhere! (But, thankfully, not in the White House.)

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Latest List of RPCV Ambassadors 8/20/18

LATEST LIST OF RPCV AMBASSADORS—8/20/2018 Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, U.S. Ambassador to Malta (2012-16); (PCV Oman 1980-82) Charles C. Adams Jr., U.S. Ambassador to Finland (2015); (PCV Kenya 1968-70) Frank Almaguer, U. S. Ambassador to Honduras (1999 to 2002); (PCV Belize 1967–69) & (PC/CD Honduras 1976-79) Larry E. André, Jr, U.S. Ambassador to (Djibouti November 2017 to present) & (Mauritania 2014-2017); (PCV Senegal 1983-85) Michael R. Arietti, U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda (2005-2008); (PCV India 1969-71) Charles R. Baquet III, U.S. Ambassador to Republic of Djibouti (1991-94); (PCV Somalia 1965-67) Robert Blackwill, U. S. Ambassador to India (2001-03); (PCV Malawi 1964-66) Julia Chang Bloch, U.S. Ambassador to Nepal (1989-1993); (PCV Malaysia 1964-66) Parker Borg, U.S. Ambassador to Mail (1981-1984) & Iceland (1993-1996); (PCV Philippines 1961-63) Richard Boucher, Deputy Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (2009-2013), (PCV Senegal 1973–75) Peter Burleigh, U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka (1995-1997); (PCV Nepal 1963-65) Katherine Hubay Canavan (formerly Peterson), U.S. . . .

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Winner of the 2017 Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award

To further fulfill its goals to encourage, recognize and promote Peace Corps writers, RPCV Writers & Readers, the newsletter that was the precursor of PeaceCorpsWriters.org and PeaceCorpsWorldwide.org, presented its first annual awards for outstanding writing in 1990. A total of 143 awards have been given since that time. Winner of the 2017 Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit By Chris Matthews (Swaziland 1968-70) Simon & Schuster October 2017 426 pages Hardback $16.41, paperback $14.54, Kindle $14.99 Reviewed by David Arnold (Ethiopia 1964-66) Chris Matthews (Swaziland 1968-70) was in Canada when he heard the news of Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 assassination at a Los Angeles hotel just hours after the 42-year-old candidate won California’s Democratic primary. Matthews had gone to Canada for a few days with a graduate school friend who was looking for a job and a way to avoid the draft. Matthews’ own options weren’t looking so . . .

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RPCVs Alan Toth and Lauren Schwartzman are finalists in Student Academy Awards

The documentary, Mining Phosphorus   http://www.mining-p.com produced by RPCV Alan Toth (South Africa 2010-2012) is a finalist for the Student Academy Awards.  Rising Dust by RPCV Lauren Schwartzman, (Panama 2013-215) is also a finalist for the prestigious award. Alan Toth has also produced a feature documentary about the modern Peace Corps Experience in South Africa.  Lauren Schwartzman is a member of the team. See the website to learn more:  Posh Corps http://www.poshcorps.com   Here is the ACADEMY AWARDS Announcement: http://www.oscars.org/news/meet-2018-student-academy-awards-finalists Documentary (Domestic Film Schools) Veronica Wangshen, “1,500 Miles 23 Days,” New York University Mathieu Faure, “An Edited Life,” New York University Lauren Schwartzman, “Dust Rising,” University of California –  Berkeley Jiayan “Jenny” Shi, “Finding Yingying,” Northwestern University Grace Oyenubi and Nani Sahra Walker, “Forced,” University of California – Berkeley Yiying Nikki Li, “Love & Loss,” University of Southern California Alan Toth, “Mining Phosphorus,” University of California – Berkeley Congratulations to Alan Toth and Lauren Schwartzman and Good Luck!

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Winner of the 2017 Maria Thomas Fiction Award

  Dead Cow Road: Life on the Front Lines of an International Crisis by Mark Wentling (Honduras 1967–69, Togo 1970–73; PC Staff: Togo, Gabon, Niger 1973–77) Page Publishing March 2017 506 pages $24.95 (paperback), $9.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Bob Criso (Nigeria 1966-67, Somalia 1967-68) •   Dead Cow Road is an ambitious work of historical fiction told through the eyes of a Foreign Service worker assigned to Somalia during the political struggles and famine crisis in 1992. Mark Wentling combines real and fictional events with real and fictional characters to weave an engrossing and complex tale unfolding during a chaotic time in a desperate country. With over 45 years experience living and working in Africa with the Peace Corps, USAID, US Foreign Service, Care and World Vision, Wentling is well-equipped to be writing about it. He has the rare distinction of having lived or worked in all fifty-four African countries. Ray Read . . .

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