Literary Type

News of writers who have served in the Peace Corps.

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EVERY HILL A BURIAL PLACE by Peter Reid (Tanzania)
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Paul Courtright (South Korea) tells the world about the Gwangju Democratization Moment, 40 Years Later
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Peace Corps Volunteer comedy series — “Lost in Moldova”
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New book by Evelyn Kohl LaTorre (Peru)
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“Moritz Thomsen: His Letters and His Legacy“ (Ecuador)
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Mildred Taylor (Ethiopia) publishes ALL THE DAYS PAST, ALL THE DAYS TO COME
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Peace Corps To End China Program–Heard on All Things Considered
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RPCV Writers 2020 — Happy New Year Vols!
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RPCV is fictional character in new African novel (Ghana)
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New Novel by Robert Cochrane (Morocco)

EVERY HILL A BURIAL PLACE by Peter Reid (Tanzania)

  On March 28, 1966, Peace Corps personnel in Tanzania received word that volunteer Peppy Kinsey had fallen to her death while rock climbing during a picnic. Local authorities arrested Kinsey’s husband, Bill, and charged him with murder as witnesses came forward claiming to have seen the pair engaged in a struggle. The incident had the potential to be disastrous for both the Peace Corps and the newly independent nation of Tanzania. To this day, the high stakes surrounding the trial raise questions as to whether there was more behind the final “not-guilty” verdict than was apparent on the surface. Peter H. Reid, who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania at the time of the Kinsey murder trial, draws upon his considerable legal experience to expose inconsistencies and biases in the case. He carefully scrutinizes the collection of evidence and the ensuing investigation, providing insight into the motives . . .

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Paul Courtright (South Korea) tells the world about the Gwangju Democratization Moment, 40 Years Later

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Steven Boyd Saum (Ukraine 1994-96)   Telling the world about the Gwangju Democratization Movement, 40 years later Paul Courtright (South Korea 1979-81) witnessed the 1980 movement and wants to set the record straight amid current attempts to distort its history for Hankyoreh  by Kim Yong-hee, Gwangju correspondent From his arrival in South Korea in 1979 with the US Peace Corps until 1981, Paul Courtright, 66, took care of patients with Hansen’s disease (formerly known as leprosy) at a shelter called Hohyewon in Naju, South Jeolla Province. On May 19, 1980, Courtright was at the Gwangju intercity bus terminal on a trip to Seoul when he saw armed soldiers from a special forces brigade beating a young man with clubs. Courtright wanted to step in, but he only watched, paralyzed by fear. Stricken with guilt for failing to help the man being clubbed, he made . . .

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Peace Corps Volunteer comedy series — “Lost in Moldova”

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Beatrice Hogan (Uzbekistan 1992-94) An American in Moldova: a Peace Corps volunteer is the subject of a new comedy series‎ The Calvert Journal Hi, my name is John E. Lewis, and I’m an RPCV from the Moldova III group (1995-97). I am also the creator, writer, and executive producer of the web series “Lost in Moldova”. I wrote the first few episodes while I was getting my MFA in TV and Screenwriting in LA. It’s loosely based on my own Peace Corps experience—as well as the experiences of my fellow volunteers and other RPCVs I’ve spoken to over the years. The story is about a guy named Diego, who joins the Peace Corps in a last-ditch effort to win back his ex-girlfriend. He goes expecting an exotic tropical paradise and ends up…”Lost in Moldova”. Strangely enough, while I was writing it, I ended up . . .

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New book by Evelyn Kohl LaTorre (Peru)

    Between Inca Walls: A Peace Corps Memoir to be published by Evelyn Kohl Latorre   At twenty-one, Evelyn is naïve about life and love. Raised in a small Montana town, she moves at age sixteen with her devout Catholic family to California. There, she is drawn to Latino culture when she works among the migrant workers. During the summer of her junior year in college, Evelyn travels to a small Mexican town to help set up a school and a library — an experience that whets her appetite for a life full of both purpose and adventure. After graduation, Evelyn joins the Peace Corps and is sent to perform community development work in a small mountain town in the Andes of Perú. There, she and her roommate, Marie, search for meaningful projects and adjust to living with few amenities. Over the course of eighteen months, the two young . . .

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“Moritz Thomsen: His Letters and His Legacy“ (Ecuador)

Moritz Thomsen: His Letters and His Legacy by Mark D. Walker (Guatemala 1971-73) First published: January 2020 edition of Scarlet Leaf Review Moritz Thomsen was an extraordinary writer and influential expatriate who spent thirty years in Ecuador studying the culture and identifying with the people with whom he lived. Although Thomsen only wrote five books, which have been compared to the works of Thoreau and Conrad, he was an avid letter writer. His missives numbered in the multiple thousands, though according to one letter, he was only able to respond to five letters a day on his typewriter, often in the hot, humid jungle of Ecuador. And yet, despite his propensity for separating himself from the outside world—or perhaps because of his isolation—he corresponded with numerous authors, publishers, and professionals. Upon returning from one trip abroad he said he found close to 400 letters to answer. According to author Tom . . .

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Mildred Taylor (Ethiopia) publishes ALL THE DAYS PAST, ALL THE DAYS TO COME

    The saga of the Logan family — made famous in the Newbery Medal-winning Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry — concludes in a long-awaited and deeply fulfilling story In her tenth book, Mildred Taylor (Ethiopia 1965-67) completes her sweeping saga about the Logan family of Mississippi, which is also the story of the civil rights movement in America of the 20th century. Cassie Logan, first met in Song of the Trees and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, is a young woman now, searching for her place in the world, a journey that takes her from Toledo to California, to law school in Boston, and, ultimately, in the 60s, home to Mississippi to participate in voter registration. She is witness to the now-historic events of the century: the Great Migration north, the rise of the civil rights movement, preceded and precipitated by the racist society of America, and the often violent confrontations that . . .

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Peace Corps To End China Program–Heard on All Things Considered

Thans for the ‘heads up’ from Chris Honode’ (Colombia 1967-69)     Peace Corps To End China Program January 24, 2020, 4:19 PM ET Heard on All Things Considered . . . RPCV ROB SCHMITZ The Peace Corps has decided to ax its China program starting this summer. Critics of the decision call the program one of the diplomatic success stories in the history of China-U.S. relations. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Starting this summer, there will no longer be Peace Corps volunteers working in China. Years ago, NPR’s own Rob Schmitz was a Peace Corps volunteer based in southwest China. He joins us now to explain why the Peace Corps decided to end its China program and what the impact of that might be. And, Rob, for this conversation, I’m going to ask you to put on a slightly different hat than your typical NPR correspondent. I want you to speak to your . . .

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RPCV Writers 2020 — Happy New Year Vols!

A Work in Progress: RPCV Authors Thirty-one 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. She receives help from her gifted son, Noah, who is also a tech genius. (It runs in the family. Husband and father Don Beil ((Somalia 1964-66)) is the . . .

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RPCV is fictional character in new African novel (Ghana)

    A few non-RPCVs writers have used the Peace Corps and PCVs in plots for their books over the years, most famously Tama Janowitz’s novel, A Cannibal in Manhattan published in 1987 by Crown. In the early days of the agency, there was also a series of YA books about Peace Corps Volunteer nurses, mostly set in Africa. Also, Tom Hanks in his 1985 movie Volunteers is a rich playboy who avoids gambling debts by jumping on a plane full of PCVs heading for Thailand. You might have seen that very funny movie. Now, a well-known Ghanaian-American mystery writer, Kwei Quartey, has written The Missing American, about a 68-year-old RPCV who returns to Ghana to track down the internet fraudster who scammed him out of a lot of money. Kwei Quartey was born in Ghana and raised by a black American mother and a Ghanaian father. A retired physician, he . . .

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New Novel by Robert Cochrane (Morocco)

  About Sayonara Sacrifice by Robert Cochran (Morocco 1981-83)   In 1927 Pitcher Hiromitsu “Hiro” Tada, a Japanese foreign student, and his German-American catcher Horst “Heck” Riedl form an unbreakable friendship when their Oregon college team gives Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and their touring AL All-Stars all they can handle. In 1931 they team up again, this time in Japan. To Heck, 1930s Japan seemed a splendid place to be a blond baseball star with coins to jingle. The hooch was good, the women intriguing, and the Savoy Room at the Tor had plenty of both. He only had to follow one simple rule: steer clear of politics. What could possibly go wrong? Nativism could run amok. Fascists could take control of your life. War could tear you away from all the people you love. You could become a propaganda prize. Or an OSS prize. You and all your family . . .

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