Archive - July 3, 2019

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Review — I AM FARANG by Amy McGarry (Thailand)
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Review — THE SHAMAN OF TURTLE VALLEY by Clifford Garstang (Korea)

Review — I AM FARANG by Amy McGarry (Thailand)

    I Am Farang: Adventures of a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand Amy McGarry (Thailand 2003–05) Self-published January 2019 213 pages $14.95 (paperback), $2.99 (Kindle)   Reviewed by Jim Skelton (Ethiopia 1970-72) • In the opening paragraph of the Preface to Amy McGarry’s book about her Peace Corps service in Thailand, she declares that As a foreigner [farang in Thai language], I was biased, and for that I apologize. My descriptions of Thai culture should always be read with that “grain of salt.” That statement really caught my attention and made me wonder what kinds of prejudiced revelations could possibly be contained in her tome. What I discovered is that Amy has written a very humorous, painfully honest and deeply insightful view of her service and life in Thailand from 2003 to 2005. She describes what could be characterized as a love/hate relationship with the Thai social culture, despite the . . .

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Review — THE SHAMAN OF TURTLE VALLEY by Clifford Garstang (Korea)

    The Shaman of Turtle Valley by Clifford Garstang (Korea 1976-77) Braddock Avenue Publisher 396 pages May 2019 $18.95 (paperback) Reviewed by Sue Hoyt Aiken (Ethiopia 1962-64) • This novel spans the world from the Great Valley of Virginia beginning with its pre-Revolutionary War settlers all the way to Korea during the conflict known as the Korean War and back again to Virginia in 1996.  Location is everything in this novel and even takes on the role of a character in many ways.  It provides not only scenery vividly described and history essential to the plot but contains ghosts, memories, dreams, spirits, healing, death and life itself.  It is essential to the mysteries of the plot. The story revolves around a young man, Aiken Alexander, as he completes his service in Korea,  whose family lives in Turtle Valley in Virginia and brings home a very young Korean wife who . . .

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