A Work in Progress: RPCV Authors

A Work in Progress: RPCV Authors

Approximately 30 years ago, Marian Haley Beil and I (both Ethiopia 1962-64) began to identify Peace Corps Writers. It was our Third Goal Project to spread the story of the Peace Corps in developing countries by promoting the writings of RPCVs here at home.  We did this as two former volunteers, not connected to the Peace Corps agency or the NPCA.

We began in April 1989 with a newsletter Peace Corps Writers & Readers and now on a website: www.peacecorpsworldwide.org We announce new books, have them reviewed, interview authors, and publish writings by RPCVs. We also started with Create Space/Amazon a line of Peace Corps Writers Books. Marian Beil is the creative publishing genius behind these projects.

Annually we give cash awards in different categories for the best books published every year.

We do not receive any money from these efforts, and gifts to us from RPCVs is used to help fund our awards.

So that our readers might know what books have been written about the Peace Corps and Volunteers, Marian created–by country of service–a bibliography of books about country of service written by RPCVs. It is available at this link:  https://peacecorpsworldwide.org/books/peace-corps-experience-books/

To have your book listed–if it qualifies–email Marian at: marian@haleybeil.com

The Peace Corps experience has also produced a number of RPCVs who have written and published books beyond their own stories of life as a PCV. Former Volunteers have become well-known authors. Among them are the novelist and travel writer Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65); mystery author Phillip Margolin (Liberia 1965-67); poet Ann Neelon (Senegal 1978-79); journalist Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66); award winning short story author Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-93); historian Peter Schwab (Liberia 1962-64); biographer Laurence Leamer (Nepal 1965-67); children book author, Mildred D. Taylor (Ethiopia 1965-67). The list goes on and on.

To identify all of these full-time and part-time authors, I ask your help in expanding our list of authors. If you, or someone you know, has published two or more novels, non-fiction, academic studies, poetry, YA or children books, or collections of short stories, please contact me so I might add the name to this list. My email is: jcoyneone@gmail.com

Here is the list of 167 RPCV authors as of May 6,2019.

Tom Adams (Togo 1974-76)
Jane Albritton (India 1967-69)
D. Allman (Nepal 1966-68
Lauri Anderson (Nigeria 1963-65)
Ron Arias (Peru 1963-64)
Jim Averbeck (Cameroon 1990-94)

Bill Barich (Nigeria 1964-66)
Donald Beil (Somalia 1964-66)
Tom Bissell (Uzbekistan 1996)
Mary Blocksma (Nigeria 1965-67)
Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-93)
Geri Marr Burdman (Bolivia 1962-64)

Craig Carozzi (Colombia 1978-80)
Suzy McKee Charnas (Nigeria 1961-63)
C. Jai Ferry (Nanette Day, Turkmenistan 1994-1998)
Dexter Fisher aka Dexter Cirillo (Colombia, 1965-67)
Beverly Clark (Fiji 1971-73
Thurston Clarke (Tunisia 1968)
Steve Clapp (Nigeria 1962-64)
Dan Close (Ethiopia 1966-68)
Harlan Coben (PC/W 1982-84)
Tracey Cohen (Namibia 2003-05)
Christopher Conlon (Botswana 1988-90)
Martha Cooper (Thailand 1963-65)
Kathleen Coskran (Ethiopia 1965-67)
Paul Cowan (Ecuador 1966-67)
John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962-64)
Timothy Crouse (Morocco 1968-69)

Christopher West Davis (Kenya 1975-78)
Susan Davis (Morocco 1965-67)
Harriet Denison (Tanzania 1966-67)
Jeanne D’Haem (Somalia 1968-70)
Mark Dintenfass (Ethiopia 1964-66)
Donald Dirnberger (West Indies 1977-79)
Kay Gillies Dixon (Colombia 1962-64)
Arthur Dobrin (Kenya 1965-67)
Lyn Dobrin (Kenya 1965-67)
Eileen Drew (Zaire 1979-81)
Dan Douglas (Botswana 1968-70)
Tony D’Souza (Ivory Coast 2000-02, Madagascar 2002-03)

Ben East (Malawi 1996-98)
Patricia Taylor Edmisten (Peru 1962-64)

Audrey (Benecick) Fielding (Peru 1964-66)
Hank Fincken (Peru & Costa Rica 1970-73)
David Engel (Thailand 1968-71)
Kenneth Flies (Brazil 1962-64)
John Michael Flynn (Moldova 1993-95)
Kinky Friedman (Borneo 1967-69)

Martin R. Ganzglass (Somalia 1966-68)
Clifford Garstang (Korea 1976-77)
John Givens (Korea 1967-69)
Steve Griffiths (Malaysia 1968-70)

Jon Halter (Venezuela 1966-68)
Thor Hanson (Uganda 1993-95)
Kent Haruf (Turkey 1965-67)
Tom Hebert (Nigeria 1962-64)
Harvey Helfand (Micronesia 1966-68)
Tom Heidlebaugh (Kenya 1965-68)
Peter Hessler (China 1996-98)
Michael Hillman (Iran 1965-67)
Kris Holloway (Mali 1989-91)
Chris Honore’ ( Colombia 1967-69)
Phyllis Greenberg Houseman (Ecuador 1962-64)

Prudence Ingerman (Bolivia 1962-64)
Richard Irish (Philippines 1962-64)

Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978-80)
P. Jones (Tunisia 1966-68)
J.P. Jones (Tunisia 1966-68)

Steve Kaffen (Russia 1994-96)
Leita Kaldi (Senegal 1993-96)
Eldon Katter (Ethiopia 1962-64)
Rea Keech (Iran 1967-69)
Geraldine Kennedy (Liberia 1962-64)
Barry Kitterman (Belize 1976-78)
Tom Klobe (Iran 1965-67)
P.F. Kluge (Micronesia 1967-69)
Jon Kohl (Costa Rica 1993-95)
Alan Krasner (Cameroon 1980-82)
Jonathan Kwitny (Nigeria 1964-66)

Charles R. Larson (Nigeria 1962-64)
Karen Lange (Liberia 1984-86)
Eric Lax (Micronesia 1966-68)
Laurence Leamer (Nepal 1965-67)
Peter Lefcourt (Togo 1962-64)
Leonard Levitt (Tanzania 1963-65)
Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras 1975-77)
John Limbert (Iran 1964-66)
Richard Lipez (Ethiopia 1962-64)
Joe Lurie (Kenya 1967-70)
Karl Luntta (Botswana 1977-80)
Jacqueline Lyons (Lesotho 1992-95)

Eve MacMaster (Turkey 1968-70)
Chris Matthews (Swaziland 1968-70)
Phillip Margolin (Liberia 1965-67)
Andy Martin (Ethiopia 1965-68)
Patricia McArdie (Paraguay 1972-74)
Bruce McDonald (Bulgaria 2002-04)
Tyler McMahon (El Salvador 1999-02)
Stanley Meisler (PC/W Staff 1964-67)
Roland Merullo (Micronesia 1979-80)
Don Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963-65)
Mike Meyer (China 1995-97)
Bob Moffitt (Malawi 1964-66)
Joseph Monninger (Burkina Faso 1975-77)
Stephen Most (Peru 1965-67)
Jennifer Mueller (Kenya 1997-99
Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65)
Carolyn Mulford (Ethiopia 1962-64)
Edward Mycue (Ghana 1961)
Lenore Myka (Romania 1994-96)

Ann Neelon (Senegal 1978-79)
Steve Nesbit (Sierra Leone 1972-75)
Chris Newhall (Philippines 1970-72 & 1974-76)

Joanne Omang (Turkey 1964-66)
Mary Le Duc O’Neill (Ghana & Costa Rica 1970-74)
Bill Owens (Jamaica 1964-66)
Steven Orr (Panama 1964-66)
Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66)
Tom O’Toole (Central African Republic & Guinea 1963-65)

George Packer (Togo 1982-84)
Ann Panning (Philippines 1988-90)

Dave Reiner (Zaire 1972-74)
Reilly Ridgell (Micronesia 1971-73)
Lex Rieffel (India 1965-67)
Teresa Roberson (Tanzania 1992-94)
Kristen Roupenian (Kenya 2003-05)
Norm Rush (Botswana 1978-83)

Michael Saba (Malaysia 1965-67
Nancy Scheper-Hughes (Brazil 1964-66)
Renate A. Schulz (Nigeria 1963-65; Mali 2011-12; Mexico 2013-16)
Michael Schmicker (Thailand 1968-70)
Peter Schwab (Liberia 1962-64)
P. David Searles (DC Staff & CD Philippines 1971-76)
William Seraile (Ethiopia 1963-65)
Bob Shacochis (Eastern Caribbean 1975-76)
James W. Skelton, Jr. (Ethiopia 1970-72)
Charlie Smith (Micronesia 1968-70)
Mary-Ann Tirone Smith (Cameroon 1965-67)
Tom Spanbauer (Kenya 1969-71)
Eleanor Stanford (Cape Verde 1998-2000)
Craig Storti (Morocco 1970-72)

Starley Talbott (Starley Anderson, South Africa 2001)
Franklin Tainter (Chile 1964-66)
Terry Tallent (Samoa 1974-75)
Mildred D. Taylor (Ethiopia 1965-67)
Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65)
Maria Thomas (Ethiopia 1971-73)
Moritz Thomsen (Ecuador 1965-67)
Starley Talbott Thompson (South Africa 2001)
Robert Thurston (Venezuela 1968-70)
Mike Tidwell (Zaire 1985-87)
Mark Troy (Thailand 1972-75)

Ellen Urbani (Guatemala 1991-93)

Michael Varga (Chad 1977–79)
Robin Varnum (Afghanistan 1971-73)

Patricia Waak. (Brazil 1966-68)
Mark Walker (Guatemala 1971-73)
Kanika Welch (The Gambia 2016-18)
Mark Wentling (Honduras 1967-69)
Richard Wiley (Korea 1967-69)
Bryant Wieneke (Niger 1974-76)
Jonathan Williams (Morocco 2008-10)
Susi Wyss (Central African Republic 1990-92)

Simone Zelitch (Hungary 1991-93)
Tony Zurlo (Nigeria 1963-65)

#167 authors



Leave a comment
  • Here’s a few more off of the top of my Rollerdex:

    Jane Albritton (India, 1967-1969)
    Craig Carrozzi (Colombia, 1978-1980)
    Tony D’Souza (W. Africa, Madagascar, 2000-2002)
    Thor Hanson (Uganda, 1993-1995)
    Michael Schmicker (Thailand, 1968-1970)
    P. David Searles, (staff/Philippines)
    Starley Talbott Thompson (S. Africa, 2001)
    Bryant Wieneke (Niger, 1974-1976)

      • John: I just pulled out my trusty copy of Peace Corps Bibliography (2018), went to page 12 and found that out of the first three entries, two have other books. I found this out by typing their names into Amazon.com books. Check it out. There are probably another 200 Peace Corps Writers who meet your category of more than one book.

  • You John Coyne and Marian Haley Beil have created in almost a breezy manner almost incredible things in these evolving developments of magazine, internet presence, publishing house & so much more & always at a professional/ artisan level.

  • Thank you, Ed. The credit goes to Marian and her son Noah for the website they created and the work Marian has put into producing it. Marian has been the heavy lifter all over these years. We are also fortunate to have Joeanne Roll for adding her historical information and research of the Peace Corps to our site. And perhaps most of all, we have all the RPCVs who have stepped up to review the books by other Volunteers as well as to let us publish their prose and poetry. It is a big community sharing their talents with the rest of us. Thank you for noticing, Ed.

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