New books by Peace Corps writers — July & August 2020

 

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 — provided by the author — for the books listed here in hopes of encouraging readers  1) to order the 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.

Mystics and Warriors
Michael Ellis Banister (Ethiopia 1972–74)
Independent
March 2020
179 pages
$10.99 (paperback)

When Shamsuddin, the “Mage of Malta” encounters five young merchants from Persia, neither he nor the young men have any idea of the conflict their meeting will create between powerful Mediterranean entities.

Collected Stories
Michael Ellis Banister (Ethiopia 1972–74)
Smashwords
March 2020
179 pages
$3.99 (Kindle)

Five stories: a so-called “genie” on the lam from a real bad actor from his world; a Las Vegas magician does a favor for three dead racecar drivers; my alter ego deals with his brother’s murder; and a rural community must deal with a troublesome commune.

The Casual Presence of Borders
Mackie JV Blanton (Tunisia 1964–66)
The University of New Oleans Press
February 2020
370 pages
$28.00 (paperback)

Mackie JV Blanton is driven by two concepts: the protection of fiction inhabiting poems and a guiding principle of a post-contemporary sensibility that slips through and away from modernism and postmodernism to grasp elsewhere a possibly unfamiliar, hardly-quite-there-yet future. 

My Life on the Autism Spectrum: Misunderstandings, Insight & Growth
Tracey  Cohen (Namibia 2003–05)
Pacelli Publishing
August 2020
64 pages
$12.95 (paperback), $8.99 (Kindle)

Exhaust the LimitsThe Life and Times of a Global Peace Builder
by Charles F. “Chic” Dambach (Colombia 1967-69)
Apprentice House Press
May 2020
350 pages
$27.99 (hardcover); $19.99 (paperback)

Inspired by the leaders, causes, and music of his youth, Chic Dambach set out to change the world. This is the fascinating life story of a ’60s antiwar and free speech leader who remained true to his values and helped build a more peaceful world. 

American Datu: John J. Pershing and Counterinsurgency Warfare in the Muslim Philippines, 1899–1913
by Ronald K. Edgerton (Philippines)
University of Kentucky Press
May 2020
376 pages
$60.00 (hardback), $37.49 (Kindle)

American Datu provides a play-by-play account of a crucial but often overlooked period in the development of American counterinsurgency strategy.

 

Medicine and Miracles in the High Desert: My Life Among the Navajo People
by Erica M. Elliott, M.D. (Ecuador)
Balboa Press
184 pages
February 2019
$14.99 (Paperback), $33.95 (Hardcover), $3.99 (Kindle)

After her first week teaching at a boarding school on the Navajo Reservation near Canyon de Chelly, young Erica Elliott almost leaves in despair, unable to communicate with the children or understand cultural cues, but once she starts learning the Navajo language, the people begin to trust her, taking her into their homes and ceremonies. 

Stealing Fortune’s Brick: The Audacious Tea Heist
by Stephen Foehr (Ethiopia 1965-66)
Fohr & Son Publisher
285 pages
June 2020
$7.00 (Kindle); $11.00 (paperback)

This is a crime mystery about stealing a cultural/historical important brick of tea during a secret, invitation only auction. Plot lines include betrayal, double-dealing, murder, personal identity crises, and a har-fought love story that may, or may not, have been won.

In Search of Pink Flamingos
By Susan E. Greisen (Liberia 1971-73; Tonga 1973-74)
Penchant Press International, LLC
247 pages
2020
$15.95 (paperback)

The chronicle of a Nebraska farm girl who defiantly joined the Peace Corps in 1971, and went to serve as a nurse in up-country Liberia. These early adventures fueled a life long commitment to service and a thirst for travel and adventure.

Discovering Tunisian Cuisine
Judith Dwan Hallet (Tunisia 1964 – 66), Raoudha Guellali Ben Taarit, and Hasna Trabelsi
Photographs by Judith Dwan Hallet and Stanley Ira Hallet (Tunisia 1964 – 1966)
Spirit of Place/Spirit of Design, Inc
December 2019
148 pages
$36.00 (hardcover)

Judy Dwan Hallet has assembled a terrific collection of delicious and healthy Mediterranean Tunisian recipes along with insightful accounts of the country’s distinctive culture, art, and history. No cook with an interest in the world’s distinctive cuisines should be without Discovering Tunisian Cuisine.

In the Coral Reef of the Market
(Peace Corps poetry)
Earl Carlton Huband  (Oman 1975–78)
Main Street Rag Publishing
44 pages
$12.00 (paperback) order here

This book is based largely on Earl’s second-year Volunteer experience, and as such is essentially a sequel to his first book, The Innocence of Education.

Between Inca Walls: A Peace Corps Memoir
Evelyn Kohl LaTorre (Peru 1964–66)
She Writes Press
August 2020
256 pages
$16.95 (paperback), $9.95 (Kindle)

An adventurous and romantically inclined twenty-one-year-old seeks fulfillment volunteering in Peru and is assigned to the Andes where she falls in love with her village, her indigenous pupils — and a handsome university student who entices her to violate the sexual prohibitions of her Catholic upbringing.

Sound Machine: Flat-Top Guitars’ Materials & Care
by Lawrence Lihosit (Honduras 1975-77)
Self-published
70 pages
May 15, 2020
$9.95 (paperback)

Sound Machine: Flat-top Guitars’ Materials & Care explains it all from the construction to the mechanisms to where to store it at home or how to do so when you’ll be away.

Agent Orange Roundup: Living with a Foot in Two Worlds
Brent MacKinnon (Fiji 1974–75, Mali 1978) and Charles (Sandy) Scull
August 2020
pages
$15.95 (paperback)

Agent Orange Roundup is an exposé and poetic eulogy by two Marine combat veterans, both with a diagnosis of terminal cancer. These dynamic illustrations, poems and prose vividly capture the journey of wartime survival, the return to community, attempts to reintegrate, and the long reach of the God of War.

Under Construction: Technologies of Development in Urban Ethiopia
by Daniel Mains (Ethiopia 1998-99)
Duke University Press
240 pages
September 2019
$25.95 (paperback), $90.84 (hardcover), $24.65 (Kindle);

Over the past decade, Ethiopia has had one of the world’s fastest growing economies, largely due to its investments in infrastructure, and it is through building dams, roads, and other infrastructure that the Ethiopian state seeks to become a middle-income country by 2025. 

A Reasonable Doubt
Phillip M. Margolin (Liberia 196–67)
St. Martin’s Paperbacks
October 27, 2020
368 pages
$9.99 (paperback), $15.55 (hard cover), $14.99 (Kindle) [can preorder

Justice is blind. But how do you solve a crime that no one could see?

Touching the Jaguar: Transforming Fear into Action to Change Your Life and the World
John M. Perkins (Ecuador 1968–71)
Berrett-Koehler Publishers
June 2020
240 pages
$26.95 (hardcover), $15.27 (kindle), $12.99 (audiobook)

For the first time, Perkins details how his experiences in the Amazon converted him from an EHM [economic hit man] to a crusader for transforming our failing Death Economy that destroys its own resources and nature itself into a flourishing Life Economy that renews itself. He provides a strategy for each of us to change our lives and defend our territory — the eart h— against destructive policies and systems.

Every Hill A Burial Place: The Peace Corps Murder Trial in East Africa

by Peter H. Reid (Tanzania 1964-66)
University of Kentucky Press
332 pages
September 2020 (Can be pre-ordered)
$36.95 (Hardback), $35.10 (Kindle)

This compelling account sheds new light on a notable yet overlooked international incident involving non-state actors in the Cold War era. Meticulously researched and replete with intricate detail, Every Hill a Burial Place explores the possibility that the course of justice was compromised and offers a commentary on the delicacy of cross-national and cross-cultural diplomacy.

Hunting Teddy Roosevelt
by James Ross (Congo 1975-77)
Regal House Press
260 pages
July 2020
$16.95 (Paperback), $9.49 (Kindle)

 

It’s 1909, and Teddy Roosevelt is not only hunting in Africa, he’s being hunted. The safari is a time of discovery, both personal and political. In Africa, Roosevelt encounters Sudanese slave traders, Belgian colonial atrocities, and German preparations for war.

We Called It A War
Sargent Shriver (first Peace Corps Director)
Rosetta Books
January, 2021 — Pre-order Price Guarantee
348 pages
$27.99 (hardcover)

 

We Called It A War is Sargent Shriver’s first-hand account of leading President Johnson’s War on Poverty. Written on the cusp of the 1970s, the manuscript was recently rediscovered among Shriver’s personal papers and subsequently edited by long-time friend and law partner, David Birenbaum. 

Owls of the Eastern Ice: A Quest to Find and Save the World’s Largest Owl
by Jonathan Slaght (Russia 1999-2002)
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
368 pages
August 2020
$27.49 (Hardback),$14.99 (Kindle)

Hypogrif in Bubbaville: A Memoir of Race, Class and Ego
by Grif Stockley (Colombia 1965–67)
Amazon Services
270 pages
July 2020
$25.99 (hardback), $12.99,(paperback), $9.98 (Kindle)

Grif Stockley grew up the “rotten-spoiled” son of white landowners in post-WWII eastern Arkansas, “an agricultural paradise or hell, depending on your perspective.” Hypogrif in Bubbaville is more than a memoir, for Stockley opens “a window on the dominant white culture” of the Jim Crow-era Mississippi River Delta, exposing his childhood home, his family, and especially himself, to unblinking scrutiny.

The Couscous Chronicles — A Peace Corps Memoir
Richard  Wallace (Morocco 1977–79)
Self-published
July 2020
260 pages
$14.95 (paperback), $0 (Kindle)

Make movies in the Peace Corps? Richard Wallace did just that. Fresh out of college and packing his film production degree, he wanted to travel. In 1977, he joined the annual deployment of trainees to Morocco’s capital city of Rabat, learning French, some Arabic and the nuances of Islamic culture.

Andean Adventures: An Unexpected Search for Meaning, Purpose and Discovery Across Three Countries
Allan “Alonzo” J. Wind (Ecuador 1980–82)
Self-published
August 2020
270 pages
$14.99 (paperback), $4.19 (Kindle)

This amusing and entertaining story shows the reader the power of compassion, kindness, open mindedness and the importance of being true to oneself and those around us, using anecdotes and humor to remind us of the importance of understanding, respecting and accepting our cultural differences. This narrative from the beginning of Allan Wind’s career is a fun window into his early experiences on another continent and an inspiring message about encouraging national service in arenas like the Peace Corps, once it is re-established again. 

 

One Comment

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  • What a wonderful collection! Thank you so much John Coyne and Marian Haley Beil for supporting and encouraging all this talent!!

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