Archive - February 6, 2019

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Review — YOU KNOW YOU WANT THIS by Kristen Roupenian (Kenya)
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Peace Corps Carried On During the Shutdown!
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The Shaman of Turtle Valley by Clifford Garstang (Korea)

Review — YOU KNOW YOU WANT THIS by Kristen Roupenian (Kenya)

  You Know You Want This: “Cat Person” and Other Stories By Kristen Roupenian (Kenya 2003-05) Scout Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster 225 pages $24.99 (hardcover), $12.99 (Kindle), $23.19 (Audio CD)   Reviewed by Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65) • Let me begin by saying I’m not the best person to be reviewing Kristen Roupenian’s debut book, You Know You Want This: “Cat Person” and Other Short Stories. One would think I would be because I’m a Second Wave radical feminist who agitated for equal rights for women, especially equal erotic rights. As a writer I’ve felt the pinch over the years of the publishing industry’s spoken and unspoken bias toward “likable” women characters. And I have my own bias in favor of difficult, edgy writing, whether by men or women.  This said, I’ve now come up against the adage of, “beware of what you ask for.” When I first . . .

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Peace Corps Carried On During the Shutdown!

https://www.peacecorps.gov/news/library/peace-corps-sends-over-300-americans-service-abroad-january/   February 6, 2019 WASHINGTON – Over 300 Americans departed in January for Peace Corps service. They will spend the next two years working with communities in Albania, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Myanmar, South Africa and Thailand. Peace Corps Response volunteers will undertake shorter-term, high-impact service assignments in China, Eswatini, Liberia, Malawi, Peru, Rwanda, Ukraine and Zambia. The new trainees gathered at staging events across the United States, including the District of Columbia, Los Angeles, Miami and Philadelphia. These pre-departure orientations are the first stage of Peace Corps service for trainees where they receive a stateside introduction to volunteer safety and service aboard. “Welcoming new Peace Corps trainees to Ecuador is an exciting part of my job,” said Peace Corps Ecuador Country Director Michael Donald. “The trainees bring with them different skills and life experiences that will enrich their communities in Ecuador and the Peace Corps community as a whole.” . . .

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The Shaman of Turtle Valley by Clifford Garstang (Korea)

  The Shaman of Turtle Valley by Clifford Garstang (Korea 1976-77) Braddock Avenue Books Publisher May 2019 $16.95 available for pre-order now (at a discount)   Synopsis: The Alexanders have farmed the land in Turtle Valley for generations, and their family and its history is tied to this mountainous region of Virginia in ways few others can claim. When Gulf War veteran Aiken Alexander brings home a young and pregnant South Korean bride, he hopes at long last to claim his own place in that complicated history—coming out from behind the shadow of his tragically killed older brother and taking up a new place in his father’s affections. However, things do not go according to plan. While he loves his young son, his wife, Soon-hee, can’t—or won’t—adjust to life in America. Her behavior growing stranger and stranger to Aiken’s eyes every day until the marriage reaches a breaking point. When Soon-hee disappears . . .

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