Nominees for best RPCV books of 2009

This is a list of the books that are the finalists for Peace Corps Writers Awards of 2010. These awards are for books published in 2009. From this list below one book in each category will be selected by the committee(s) and announced in July on our website. In 2009 more than 70 books-fiction, non-fiction, books of essays, memoirs, and poetry by RPCVs were sent to us for review. We think it is about 90% of all books published by RPCVs last year. If you have a favorite book, let me know why, and I’ll pass on your recommendation to the committees. Thank you.


p.s. If you think a book has been inadvertently left off this list, also please let me know.

for the Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award

Clintonomics: How Bill Clinton Reengineered the Reagan Revolution
By Jack Godwin (Gabon 1982-84)
304 pages
March 2009

The Last of His Mind:
A Year in the Shadow of Alzheimer’s
by John Thorndike (El Salvador 1967-69)
Swallow Press
248 pages
October 2009

Madness Under the Royal Palms:
Love and Death Behind the Gates of Palm Beach
by Laurence Leamer (Nepal 1965-67)
Hyperion Press
368 pages

The Italian Summer:
Golf, Food, and Family at Lake Como
By Roland Merullo (Micronesia 1979-80)
272 pages

for the Maria Thomas Fiction Award

The Broken Teaglass
By Emily Arsenault (South Africa 2004-06)
Delacorte Press
370 pages

Inherit The Family: Marrying into Eastern Europe
Stories by Vello Vikerkaar (Estonia 1992-94)
Book Man
168 pages
October 2009

Palos Verdes Blues
A Jack Liffey Mystery
By John Shannon (Malawi 1965-67)
Pegasus Books
320 pages

Mosquito Conversations:
More Stories from the Upper Peninsula
by Lauri Anderson (Nigeria 1965-67)
North Star Press of St. Cloud,
June 2009

by Kirsten Johnson (Kenya 1982-84)
Plain View Press
248 pages
July 2009

The Incarnation of CatMan Billy
By Will Jordan (Senegal & Liberia 1971-72)
The Press of Light
320 pages
September 2009

In an Uncharted Country
by Clifford Garstang (South Korea 1976-78)
Press 53
204 pages
August 2009

The 38 Million Dollar Smile
by Richard Stevenson (aka Richard Lipez (Ethiopia 1962-64)
284 pages
September 2009

for the Best Peace Corp Memoir

First Comes Love, then Comes Malaria:
How a Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and a Third World Adventure Changed My Life
Eve Brown-Waite (Ecuador 1988)
Broadway Books
320 pages

Heat, Sand, and Friends
by Allen W. Fletcher (Senegal 1969-71)
Worcester Publishing Ltd.
158 pages

for the Best Book of Poetry

What The Abenaki Say About Dogs
…and other poems and stories of Lake Champlain
By Dan Close (Ethiopia 1966-68)
The Tamarac Press
53 pages

The Mind Dancing
By Tony Zurlo (Nigeria 1962-64)
Art and Calligraphy by Vivian Lu
Plain View Press
76 pages

Rock Worn by Water
By Florence Chard Dacey (Nigeria 1963-65)
Plain View Press
77 pages

for the Best Travel Book

Four Corners:
The Vineyards and Wineries of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado
by Starley Talbott (South Afirca 2001)
Plainstar Press
182 pages
March 2009

The Fourth Part of the World:
The Race to the Ends of the Earth, and the Epic Story of the Map that Gave America Its Name
by Toby Lester (Yemen 1988-90)
Free Press
462 pages
November 2009

for the Best Children’s Book

Henry and Anthony
by H. Lynn Beck (El Salvador, Brazil)
262 pages
May 2009

by Terri [Stephens] McIntyre (Pakistan 1963-65)
Self Published
259 pages
October 2009

for the Best Book of Photography

Subway Art: 25th Anniversary Edition
Martha Cooper (Thailand 1963-65)
Chronicle Books
128 pages
April 2009

Through Our Eyes: Peace Corps In Korea,1966-1981
Editor by Bill Harwood (Korea 1975-77)
COMA the Artist Company Korea
200 pages
October 2009


Leave a comment
  • Wow!! I’m excited to see two books by RPCVs from Korea. I had meant to get a copy of Bill Harwood’s but forgot so this is a welcome reminder. I was lucky enough to hear Cliff Garstang do a reading last year in Chicago. I picked up a copy of In an Uncharted Country then. I read it right away and found Cliff’s writing very impressive. His characters’ voices are so authentic and rich. I gave it to a southern friend to read not really sure if this northerner could make an accurate assessment. She agreed with me. Transplanted into Virginia, Cliff has turned himself into another wonderful Southern writer.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Copyright © 2022. Peace Corps Worldwide.