Author - Marian Haley Beil

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New books by Peace Corps writers — September & October 2019
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Peace Corps Writers imprint publishes WOVEN by Nancy Heil Knor (Belize)
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A Writer Writes – “The Potato Caper” by Evelyn Kohl LaTorre (Peru)
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Review — STRANGE BEAUTY OF THE WORLD: POEMS by Bill Preston (Thailand)
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Review — FRONTIER CABIN STORY: The Rediscovered History of a West Virginia Log Farmhouse by Joseph Goss (Afghanistan)
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Review — THE BILOXI CONNECTION by David Mather (Chile)
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Martin Ganzglass (Somalia) publishes THE PRICE OF FREEDOM — #6 of a series
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David Mather (Chile) publishes THE BILOXI CONNECTION
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New books by Peace Corps writers — June 2019
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Review — I AM FARANG by Amy McGarry (Thailand)

New books by Peace Corps writers — September & October 2019

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 peacecorpsworldwide@gmail.com, and we’ll send you a copy along with a few instructions. • As We Think . . . So We Age: Exploring Pathways to Meaningful Aging Geri Marr Burdman, Ph.D. (Bolivia 1962–64) GeroWise Books July 2015 136 pages $14.99 (paperback) Drawing on her professional background as well as years of cross-cultural and global experiences, Geri . . .

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Peace Corps Writers imprint publishes WOVEN by Nancy Heil Knor (Belize)

    About WOVEN: A Peace Corps Adventure Spun with Faith, Laughter, and Love by Nancy Heil Knor (Belize 1989-1991) • The idea for Woven started back in 1989 when I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the K’ekchi Mayan village of San Pedro Columbia in Belize, Central America. As a new teacher-volunteer, I noticed the distinct absence of books in the village. The few picture books that I had brought with me were read and reread by men, women, and children until their bindings cracked; in the schools, classes were taught in English, but had no books for the students to read; and there was always a waiting list of men wanting to borrow my Peace Corps issued Newsweek Magazine.   Within a few months, my Peace Corps project became clear: I would work alongside the villagers to create the first-ever San Pedro Columbia Library! The San Pedro Library . . .

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A Writer Writes – “The Potato Caper” by Evelyn Kohl LaTorre (Peru)

 The Potato Caper by Evelyn LaTorre (Peru 1964-66)) The morning of March 25, 1965, dawned dry and warm in the town of Abancay, altitude, 7,000 feet, where I lived as a Peace Corps volunteer. The moisture that fell during the night had been unexpected because the rainy season in the Andean mountain area of Peru had usually ended by February. The cloudless day meant my clothes would dry if I washed them. So I snatched the galvanized steel bucket from the porch and headed to fill it from the nearby faucet in the big water basin. “After laundry duty,” my roommate Marie shouted from inside our 12×15-foot cinderblock home, “let’s hike up the side of one of the mountains.” “Good idea,” I said, turning on the faucet. “We can pack some cheese sandwiches, apples and cookies and have a picnic.” I filled the bucket with water, still frigid from its . . .

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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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Review — FRONTIER CABIN STORY: The Rediscovered History of a West Virginia Log Farmhouse by Joseph Goss (Afghanistan)

    Frontier Cabin Story  — The Rediscovered History of a West Virginia Log Farmhouse by Joseph  Goss (Afghanistan 1967–69) Peace Corps Writers December 2018 208 pages $14.94 (paperback) Reviewed by D.W. Jefferson (El Salvador 1974–76; Costa Rica 1976–77) • This is the story of a historic log farmhouse located near Shepherdstown, West Virginia which the author and his wife purchased when on the threshold of their retirement. But more than that, it is a valuable case study of how to go about researching the history of an interesting older building, its owners and occupants over the years, and the surrounding area. As the author explains: I began this project hoping to portray the historical record of one long-overlooked farmhouse and all that I could learn about the people with connections to it. And that is how it has culminated. But I also want it to serve as a useful reference . . .

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Review — THE BILOXI CONNECTION by David Mather (Chile)

    The Biloxi Connection by David Mather (Chile 1968–70) Peace Corps Writers June 2019 387 pages $14.95 (paperback) Review by D.W. Jefferson • 374 pages, 37 short chapters plus a Prologue and an Epilogue, The Biloxi Connection is another opportunity to enjoy David Mather’s unforgettable characters from Florida’s rural Big Bend region on the gulf coast, also known as the Redneck Riviera. This is another page-turner, leaving you wondering where the time went after spending a couple hours immersed in the story. And the chapters are short enough that you feel like you could read just one more! I strongly recommend that you read the whole three book series starting with Crescent Beach, followed by Raw Dawgin’and finally this volume. But this well-written novel also stands on its own very well. Rusty, the now retired state trooper, plays a major role. In this book he goes after the hired assassin that . . .

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Martin Ganzglass (Somalia) publishes THE PRICE OF FREEDOM — #6 of a series

    About The Price of Freedom  Number 6 in the series of novels about the American Revolution by Martin R. Ganzglass (Somalia 1966–68)   The Price of Freedom is my sixth and final novel in a series on the American Revolution. The first book, Cannons for the Cause, begins in the brutal winter of 1775 when the principal character, fifteen-year-old Will Stoner and his teamster father, are engaged to haul heavy cannons from Lake George, New York to Cambridge, Massachusetts, as part of Colonel Henry Knox’s “Noble Train of Artillery.” This last novel begins after the crucial victory at Yorktown in October 1781, and ends in the summer of 1784 in liberated New York City when Patriots and former Loyalists begin to overcome their wartime differences. The underlying theme throughout the series is the important role ordinary people, including the “invisible minorities” — African Americans, women and Native Americans — played . . .

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David Mather (Chile) publishes THE BILOXI CONNECTION

    David Mather, like many RPCVs, thought that his Peace Corps experience was one-of-a-kind and decided to write about it in novel format. He began writing One For The Road in 2006, and five years later it was published through Peace Corps Writers. It takes place in the foothills of the Andes of southern Chile where he was the most isolated Volunteer in his forestry program, and the novel could well be a primer for new Volunteers.  This literary effort, though, was an epiphany for David: he discovered that he enjoyed writing. A sequel,  When the Whistling Stopped, soon followed. After that, he began “The Crescent Beach Series,” three novels that take place in a fictitious backwater fishing village in the lawless Big Bend Area of Florida’s gulf coast. The Biloxi Connection is the third in the CB series and his fifth novel published through PCW. Mather’s isolated PC experience in . . .

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New books by Peace Corps writers — June 2019

    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 peacecorpsworldwide@gmail.com, and we’ll send you a copy along with a few instructions. • Legacy in Stone: Syria Before War (photography) by Kevin Bubriski (Nepal 1975-78) PowerHouse Books 164 pages January 2019 $50.00 (hard cover) • The Biloxi Connection (The Crescent Beach Series — Book 3) David J. Mather (Chile 1968–70) Peace Corps . . .

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Review — I AM FARANG by Amy McGarry (Thailand)

    I Am Farang: Adventures of a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand Amy McGarry (Thailand 2003–05) Self-published January 2019 213 pages $14.95 (paperback), $2.99 (Kindle)   Reviewed by Jim Skelton (Ethiopia 1970-72) • In the opening paragraph of the Preface to Amy McGarry’s book about her Peace Corps service in Thailand, she declares that As a foreigner [farang in Thai language], I was biased, and for that I apologize. My descriptions of Thai culture should always be read with that “grain of salt.” That statement really caught my attention and made me wonder what kinds of prejudiced revelations could possibly be contained in her tome. What I discovered is that Amy has written a very humorous, painfully honest and deeply insightful view of her service and life in Thailand from 2003 to 2005. She describes what could be characterized as a love/hate relationship with the Thai social culture, despite the . . .

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