Archive - September 2019

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An introduction to a writer’s life by Paulette Perhach (Paraguay)
2
Theroux Has More To Say About Mexico
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Review Of The Buried by Peter Hessler (China)
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Everyone Writes. But Is Everyone a Writer?
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WSJ Review of Paul Theroux’s New Book (Malawi)
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First RPCV Writers Workshop Held in Royal Oak, Maryland
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In The Times: “Paul Theroux’s Mexican Journey” (Malawi)
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Full-Time Freedom To Write (Paraguay 2008-10)
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58 Years after Congressional Authorization, The Peace Corps Continues to build better Americans
10
Review — STRANGE BEAUTY OF THE WORLD: POEMS by Bill Preston (Thailand)

An introduction to a writer’s life by Paulette Perhach (Paraguay)

  Welcome to the Writer’s Life by Paulette Perhach (Paraguay 2008–10) Sasquatch Books Publisher 320 pages $ 18.95 2018     INTRODUCTION Hello there. On the day that changed me from someone who wanted to be a writer to someone working to be a writer, I was a twenty- six-year-old Peace Corps volunteer in the capital of Paraguay, on a swamp-hot bus packed mostly with office workers on their way home. The bus squealed to a stop, and the driver opened the door. Since so many of the stories, both hilarious and traumatizing, that I told my family and friends back home started with someone getting on the bus, I’d developed a reflex to watch that door, waiting for whoever or whatever was next. A young woman, maybe twenty, hopped on and stood at the front, smiling. She greeted us hello in Guaraní, not with the usual booming voice of . . .

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Theroux Has More To Say About Mexico

THE WEEKEND INTERVIEW How Mexicans See the U.S. and Trump The border fence is ‘a visible example of national paranoia,’ author Paul Theroux says. Yet he thinks Americans are right to be afraid. By Tunku Varadarajan Sept. 27, 2019 5:58 pm ET  ILLUSTRATION: KEN FALLIN Sandwich, Mass. If Paul Theroux’s new book on Mexico is a commercial success, he’ll have Donald Trump to thank for it. But the initial inspiration came from a young man who worked in a doctor’s office. In 2014 Mr. Theroux visited a clinic in this Cape Cod town, where he spends his summers. The assistant who registered him made an instant and irksome impression. “ ‘Take a seat, Paul,” Mr. Theroux quotes him. “ ‘Fill in these forms, Paul. The doctor will see you shortly, Paul.’ It was Paul, Paul, Paul.” Mr. Theroux, 78, recalls the incident with somewhat startling venom: “I’m in my 70s. I said to myself: . . .

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Review Of The Buried by Peter Hessler (China)

The New York Review of Books (October 10, 2019) carries a long review of The Buried: An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution written by Ursula Lindsey who writes about culture, education, and politics in the Arab world. She lived in Egypt and Morocco and is now based in Amman, Jordan. Lindsey writes, “The Buried promises to uncover an essential truth about Egypt, but this is a promise that it can’t keep. What it does deliver is original, richly layered, and often delightful reporting. Hessler has a sharp sense of humor, a gift for observation, a healthy skepticism, and a knack for using memorable characters and anecdotes to demonstrate larger truths.” Lindsey goes onto write, towards the end of her long review, “Hessler’s book is neither an overview of the many factors that led to the Arab Spring, nor an account of how it was thwarted. And even when one disagrees with his . . .

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Everyone Writes. But Is Everyone a Writer?

Workshops hosted by published authors like Elizabeth Gilbert and non authors like Caroline Calloway have commodified creativity.                                            Elizabeth Gilbert, one of a number of well-known authors who also host                                            writing and creativity workshops. By Katherine Rosman  Published Sept. 18, 2019  New York Times In a video that began making the rounds last month, Meg Stalter describes herself as a writer in New York City (“can you get any more cliché than that, no you can’t” she said), and gives some writerly advice. “Write every day, every second of the day. When you wake up, you should be looking, ‘Where’s my writing stuff that I use to write?’” Ms. Stalter . . .

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WSJ Review of Paul Theroux’s New Book (Malawi)

‘On the Plain of Snakes’ Review: Why María Left Oaxa After a visit to the Mexican border, Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65), resolved to return by car and find out why so many risk crossing furtively into the U.S. The author, near the Mexican border, talks to a man who had been deported after working for 12 years in the U.S. PHOTO: STEVE MCCURRY By Andrew R. Graybill Wall Street Journal Sept. 25, 2019 7:10 pm ET A couple of years ago, the novelist and travel writer Paul Theroux visited the U.S.-Mexico border. South of the line he interviewed several people at a shelter serving migrants and deportees, and his memory of an encounter with a woman named María stalked him thereafter “like an apparition.” She wept as she told Mr. Theroux how she had left her three young children with their grandmother in Oaxaca, deep in the Mexican interior, so that she . . .

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First RPCV Writers Workshop Held in Royal Oak, Maryland

This last week, writers from the Peace Corps went to the Shore Retreats on Broad Creek, on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland to talk about their prose and poetry. Five published RPCV writers led them in a series of discussions, readings, and one-on-one reviews focused on what they are writing today. The faculty included four award winning Peace Corps writers. They were Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65) author of three novels and recipient of an American Book Award, the Maria Thomas Award for Outstanding Fiction, Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award, New York Public Library Best Books for the Teenage, a New York Times Book Review New and Noteworthy in Paperback, and a Barnes and Noble “Discover Great New Writers” choice. Jeanne D’Haem (Somalia 1968-70) an emeritus professor at William Paterson University who has published two prize-winning books and numerous journal articles. The Last Camel won the Paul Cowan prize for non-fiction. Desert Dawn, with Waris Dirie, has been translated into over twenty languages . . .

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In The Times: “Paul Theroux’s Mexican Journey” (Malawi)

  In his 70s, the writer embarks on one of the great adventures of a traveling life, a solo road trip from Reynosa to Chiapas and back. • Paul Theroux’s Mexican Journey By Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963–65) Photographs by Cesar Rodriguez New York Times Sept. 23, 2019   In the casual opinion of most Americans, I am an old man, and therefore of little account, past my best, fading in a pathetic diminuendo while flashing his AARP card, a gringo in his degringolade. Naturally, I am insulted by this, but out of pride I don’t let my indignation show. My work is my reply, my travel is my defiance. Sometimes, a single person, met casually on a journey, can be a powerful inspiration. I happened to be in Nogales, Mexico, to talk to migrants — and on that visit I saw a middle-aged woman praying before her meal in a shelter. She was Zapotec, . . .

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Full-Time Freedom To Write (Paraguay 2008-10)

Paulette Perhach (Paraguay 2008-10) has an online coaching course for writers. A 12 weeks course begins this week on September 26th. Check it out and/or contact Paulette. Full-time to Freedom to Write 12 weeks starting Sept. 26 Meeting Thursdays at 8 EST/5 PST. Outside, it was a rare sunny day in Seattle. I pressed my face against the glass window of my boss’s office, and realized I wasn’t allowed to leave the building. I realized I wasn’t allowed to shift my work day to Saturday, when the rain would roll back in. I realized I wanted to be a freelancer. How do you think you would feel if you got to create the life you want as a full-time writer? You wake up at the time that’s right for your body, wear whatever you feel comfortable in, and work with people you like and respect. When you need to be around . . .

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58 Years after Congressional Authorization, The Peace Corps Continues to build better Americans

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Rich Buxton (Congo 1977-79) Published in THE HILL BY REPS. JOE KENNEDY III (D-MASS.) AND JOHN GARAMENDI (D-CALIF.) © Getty Images On Sept. 22, 1961, Congress approved legislation signed into law by President John F. Kennedy creating an organization whose goal was to promote world peace and friendship. The Peace Corps has been doing that and more ever since. Nearly six decades later, more than 230,000 Americans have served as Peace Corps volunteers in 141 countries. We are proud to count ourselves among them and to serve as co-chairs of the Congressional Peace Corps Caucus. Every year, Peace Corps volunteers arrive in communities around the globe where our presence has rarely been felt. As soon as they step on that soil, they begin to build homes, trust and relationships that will help us make the world a safer and better place. This is something we learned firsthand . . .

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Review — STRANGE BEAUTY OF THE WORLD: POEMS by Bill Preston (Thailand)

    Strange Beauty of the World: Poems Bill Preston (Thailand 1977–80) Peace Corps Writers 148 pages August 2018 $14.00 (paperback), $9.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Peter V. Deekle (Iran 1968–70) • Bill Preston (Thailand, 1977-1980) began his professional encounter with his native language, English, during his Peace Corps TEFL assignment, as did this reviewer. But Bill continued his formal engagement with English well beyond Peace Corps. This engagement has strengthened his expertise as a writer and poet. Strange Beauty of the Worldis a collection both personal and universal in its appeal, organized in broad sections of Bill’s experience and recollections. The universality of each poem enables the reader to find a unique voice and vision of the expressed sentiments and events. Regardless of style and form (mostly extended narrative forms, but a few, often playful, rhyming) the poems seem to this reviewer both appropriate to the themes and evocative of each . . .

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