22 New books by Peace Corps writers — July–August, 2021

To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com — CLICK on the book cover, the bold book title, or the publishing format you would like — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance from your purchase that will help support the site and the annual Peace Corps Writers awards.
We now include a one-sentence description  for the books listed here in hopes of encouraging readers  1) to order a book and 2) to VOLUNTEER TO REVIEW IT.
 See a book you’d like to review for Peace Corps Worldwide? Send a note to Marian at marian@haleybeil.com, and we’ll send you a copy along with a few instructions.


In addition to the books listed below, Marian has on her shelf a number of other books whose authors would love for you to review. Go to Books Available for Review to see what is on that shelf. Join in our Third Goal effort!!!

My Life in the Peace Corps: Letters home from Guinea, West Africa, and the toughest job you’ll ever love
Shad  Engkilterra (Guinea 1998-2000)
Independently published
December 2020
263 pages
$12.99 (paperback); $4.99 (Kindle)

My Life in the Projects: A kid’s-eye view of HUD housing in the 1980s
Shad  Engkilterra (Guinea 1998-2000)
Independently published
January 2018
146 pages
$9.99 (paperback); $4.99 (Kindle)

What’s it like to live in government subsidized housing? Speaking from experience – it sucks! No one wants to live in the projects. As a child, my broken family was forced to move into the HUD projects of California. 

Warrior Love: Silas Loves Lili Weirdly Lili Loves Silas
by Stephen Foehr (Ethiopia 1964-66)
Published by Stephen Foehr
July 2021
373 pages
$6.99 (Kindle); $10.98 (Paperback)

The crime mystery Warrior Love centers around solving the murder of a professional darts competitor, and sabotaging a mayoral election. The essence of the novel is about people’s capacity for good and evil, and their motivations. The very core of the book is a pure love story between two “warriors,” Silas and LiLi, each trying to save the other, and the world, from perdition.

Elisabeth Samson, Forbidden Bride
By C.V. Hamilton [Carolyn Hamilton Proctor] (Suriname 1999-01)
Swift House Press
June 2020
401 pages
$17.95 (paperback), $3.99 (Kindle)

In the 18th century tropical Dutch colony of Suriname, wealth is measured by the number of slaves one owns, free negress, Elisabeth Samson, the educated and wealthy owner of coffee plantations and hundreds of slaves, lives with a white military lieutenant, Carl Otto Creutz. Dutch law forbids marriage between black and white, so their relationship is called “Suriname marriage” by the colonists and “living in sin” by the Dutch Reformed Church.

Somewhere in the Silence (Romance)
by Phyllis Greenberg Houseman (Ecuador 1962–64)
Self published
July, 2021
318 pages
$15.00 (paperback), $4.99 (Kindle)

“Oy Vey! I found my soul mate in South America, but I think his father was a Nazi.” 

The Life of a Nepali Village Boy
by Ambika Mohan Joshee (Peace Corps staff/Nepal 1971–2001)
Peace Corps Writers
June, 2021
267 pages
$24.50 (paperback)

“He is talented: able to secure work, develop schools, and convince others to aid these selfless efforts, especially in education. And he is responsible: responsible to the farmers in the co-ops he led, responsible to the students he taught, responsible to the volunteers he prepped and supported, and responsible to his family above all. His work touched the lives of thousands.”  — Will Newman, former Country Director, Peace Corps/Nepal.


Nakhon Phanom: the Domino That Did Not Fall: (and my Thai hometown)Nakhon Phanom: The Domino That Did Not Fall (and my Thai hometown)
By James l. Jouppi (Thailand 1971–73)
Liberty Hill Publishing
450 pages
July 2021
$9.99 (Kindle); $30.99 (Paperback); $41.00 (Hardback)

After graduating with Cornell’s civil engineering class of 1971 and a five-week stint as a taxi driver in New York City, Jim Jouppi shipped out for a Peace Corps adventure in Thailand. After completing his two-year tour, he was ready to go back home when, after meeting a flirtatious Thai jownatee, he decided to take a home leave and return for one more year.

by Cathie Smith Keenan (Afghanistan 1970-72)
BookBaby Publisher
316 pages
March 2021
$9.49 (Kindle); $15.45 (Paperback)

BATS is an unlikely love story set in a small New England town. It is the tale of misfits of differing sizes and shapes.

Memories and Insights: Iran throught the Eyes of Peace Corps Volunteers (A Legacy Project of Peace Corps Iran Association)
edited by John Krauskopf (Iran 1965–67)
April 2021
$24.99 (paperback)

Memories and Insights brings together 31 authors who served in Iran from 1962 to 1976, and whos memories, essahs, poems, fiction and travelogues create a discerning picture of a culture with a long and storied history.

Asian Trail Mix: True Tales from Borneo to Japan
by Eric Madeen (Gabon 1981-83)
Independently published
April 2021
93 pages
$2.99 (Kindle); $7.99 (Paperback)

A travel essay compilation, Asian Trail Mix: True Tales from Borneo to Japan,  scales down the sprawl of Asia by laser focusing on the unique and revelatory in sharp, crisp prose.

Massage World: The Novel
by Eric Madeen (Gabon 1981-83)
Absolute Author Publishing House
June 2021
333 pages
$2.99 (Kindle); 12.99 (paperback)

A super high-octane thriller, by turns erotic and exotic but always zesty, its plot twists and linkage are tight and full of surprises … peopled as it is with a rogues gallery found in the nether reaches of a Dionysian dream.

Water Drumming in the Soul: A Novel of Racy Love in the Heart of Africa
by Eric Madeen (Gabon 1981-83)
Independently published
218 pages
April 2021
$ 2.99 (Kindle); $9.99 (Paperback)

An equatorial village surrounded by rainforest where the author lived as a PCV inspired this  multicultural love story, which resonates with the personal and passionate all the way through to the heart-wrenching end.

Driving Jesus to Little Rock
by Roland Merullo (Micronesia 1979-80)
Pfp Publisher
280 pages
September 2021
17.85 (paperback); $9.85 (Kindle); $28.00 (Hardcover)

As he did in his other road trip adventures, Merullo manages to walk a tightrope by raising deep philosophical questions without sounding preachy. The author provokes readers to think about life while also making them laugh and providing them with a boots-on-the-ground view of America.

Letters from a Wondrous Empire: An Epistolary Memoir
by Cynthia Nelson Mosca (Ethiopia 1967–69)
A Peace Corps Writers Book
July 2021
182 pages
$14.99 (paperback), $3.99 (Kindle)

After being raped by her instructor in 1967, a young woman travels to Ethiopia for a two-year stint in the Peace Corps where she learns to love and heal through teaching, friendship, and writing letters home.

The Peace Corps and Latin America: In the Last Mile of U.S. Foreign Policy
Thomas J. Nisley (Dominican Republic 1989-91)
Lexington Books
158 pages
$95.00 (hardcover), $39.99 (paperback), $37.99 (Kindle)

Not all U.S. policy makers have equally recognized the role of the Peace Corps in U.S. foreign policy. Some have even dismissed it outright. This book argues that the Peace Corps plays an important role in U.S. foreign policy. Although the Peace Corps is much stronger today than it was in the late 1970s and early 1980s, U.S. foreign policy would be well served if the Peace Corps were further strengthen and expanded, not only in Latin America but in the world. We should consider the wider policy benefits of the Peace Corps.

Free Rose Light: Stories around South Street
Mary  O’Connor (Macedonia 2006-2008)
The University Of Akron Press
September, 2021 (can be preordered)
212 pages
$24.95 (paperback), Kindle

Free Rose Light is the wide-ranging story of the people and community of South Street Ministries in Akron, Ohio, told in the style of the ministry — improvisational, risky, and present.

How to Improve the World Quickly
Christopher J. Roesel (Guatemala 1973–75)
Peace Corps Writers
August 2021
114 pages
$12.00 (paperback)

A how-to of improving the health, nutrition and water for people around the world.

The Boy with Four Names
(for adults and young adults)
Doris Rubenstein (Ecuador 1971-73)
June 2021
180 pages
$13.99 (paperback), $3.99 (Kindle)]

A story of European Jews who escaped to Ecuador during WWII, The Boy with Four Names tells of one such family, and one boy who ended up with four names.

Love and Latrines in the Land of Spiderweb Lace: A Peace Corps Memoir
Mary Lou Shefsky (Paraguay 1974–76)
July 2021
218 pages – full color
$38.99 (paperback)

Open your mind to Peace Corps’ kaleidoscopic challenges and the rustic reality of rural Paraguay through the eyes of a health Volunteer, and follow her enduring host country connections from 1974 to the present.

A Yovo in Togo: My Peace Corps Experience in West Africa, 1985 to 1987
Karen  Story (Togo 1985–87)
July 2021
309 pages
$12.78 (paperback), Free (pdf)

This is my story of what it was like to be a Peace Corps volunteer in a small village in northern Togo in the mid-1980s—one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and one of the highlights of my life.

 JFK & RFK Made Me Do It:  1960–1968
by Sweet William (Peru 1964–66)
Peace Corps Writers & Constitutional Capers
August 2021
274 pages
$25.00 (paperback); $9.99 (Kindle)

This fast-paced memoir is a classic Sixties peace, love, and war story. The focus is on the Kennedy brothers, JFK & RFK, and their “strategy for peace,” and their effects on a simple railroad worker from a blue-collar town in Southern California, who joins the Peace Corps. The book, greatly enhanced by the growing body of research of the Kennedy Era, describes in poetic cadence the ’60s, a quest for peace beginning with JFK’s declaration of a New Frontier in 1960, and ending with RFK’s 1968 anti-war presidential campaign.

Cuahi Li Hix: A tale of hilarious and sometimes harrowing adventures in the jungle of Belize
by Barbara Wheeler (Belize 1990-92)
Self Published
170 pages
May 2021
$4.99 (Kindle); $8.99 (Paperback)

Cuahi Li His is a humorous, lighthearted retelling of one Peace Corps Volunteer’s journey to a world where time seemed to have stopped.


Leave a comment
  • Such a great outpouring by Returned Peace Corps Vounteers just here.
    How many would there be in total? Is there such a list? And would that list be inclusive of only those written about the writers’ Peace Corps experiences on the ground or include the results and influence of their years as volunteers.
    It seems as if there could be many categories of such lists.

    • Great idea, Ed. I just posted a new list of RPCV writers who have written two books. Could you pull together a list of all the RPCVs who have written just about their experience in the Peace Corps? It would be a nice addition to the various lists that Marian Beil and I have created since about 1987.

  • That would be a wonderful listing, but beyond me and an in-progress of the magnet of history in the making. Thank you for suggesting I still have a lot of bluebird day remaining. Love to Marian Beil who has shephered so many titles into print. Ed .

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