Literary Type

News of writers who have served in the Peace Corps.

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Steve Kaffen (Russia) publishes EUROPE BY BUS
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“What Writers Write & Why” by Marnie Mueller (Ecuador)
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Richard Lipez (Ethiopia) publishes 16th Donald Strachey Mystery
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More about the September RPCV Writers Workshop
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PCVs binge reading in the Peace Corps
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Peace Corps Fund Sponsors Third Goal Writers’ Workshop this September in Maryland
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Dick Irish’s Last Book (Philippines)
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Michael Meyer (China) “The Quiet Revolt That Saved China,” Op-Ed, Wall Street Journal
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“THE MAGIC STONE and the Woman who Wrote It!” (Kenya)
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Current New Yorker features Peter Hessler’s (China) new book

Steve Kaffen (Russia) publishes EUROPE BY BUS

    Buses are transforming European travel, cruising its highways, country roads, and coastlines, and connecting its cities and towns. They offer comfortable seating, wide windows, immediate boarding, value pricing, and modern technology along intercity routes spanning the European continent. Using descriptive text of 50 bus trips and destination city visits over a two-year period, author/explorer Steve Kaffen weaves together a fascinating travel story while providing experiential guidance on how to take advantage of this exciting way to explore Europe. Some 600 photos of all the bus trips, cities, sights and local color complement the story. An excerpt from the book’s Foreword: “‘Europe by Bus’ is informative, joyous, and lots of fun, with wonderful photographs and valuable tips. Its broad coverage, in text and photos, of some of Europe’s most interesting places makes the book a fascinating story and an excellent planning tool.” An excerpt from the Introduction: “Steve Kaffen . . .

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“What Writers Write & Why” by Marnie Mueller (Ecuador)

    Approximately ten years ago, Marnie Mueller was invited as visiting faculty to Bennington College where she gave the following talk to the MFA students in the college’s prestigious graduate school writing program. — John Coyne • What Writers Write & Why by Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65)   When I returned in the mid-1960s to the United States from a two year stint in the Peace Corps in Guayaquil, Ecuador, I was in a sorry way, deeply traumatized, subject to dark silent rages, nightmares, and a terror of being in crowds. At first I drank alone to calm the turmoil, then I found a shrink, and eventually I sought solace in reading novels. I found refuge in the books by young men of my generation who had fought in Vietnam, particularly in a work by Tim O’Brien. In Going after Cacciato I identified with his character being in such . . .

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Richard Lipez (Ethiopia) publishes 16th Donald Strachey Mystery

    It’s a family reunion in the era of American tribal politics, and what could go wrong? Plenty, including murder, when the Callahan clan convenes at a New England country inn and one of the most politically outspoken relatives is the victim of a bizarre poisoning. Timothy Callahan and his long-time spouse, Albany PI Don Strachey, contend not just with dampened spirits, but with injustice when a misguided local cop zeroes in on an innocent Callahan. PI Strachey has to unearth a complicated family’s hidden history, nail the real killer, and expose an act of long-contained violent rage in this disturbing tale of the way we live now. • Richard Stevenson (Richard Lipez) will meet and greet anybody willing to consider buying KILLER REUNION, the 16th Donald Strachey mystery, at The Bookstore, 11 Housatonic St., Lenox, Mass on Friday, June 7 at 5:30 p.m. • Killer Reunion A Donald Strachey . . .

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More about the September RPCV Writers Workshop

  Our Peace Corps tours have been great experiences. Many RPCVs have felt an urge to capture in prose and poetry that experience. Over the years I have been amazed by the wonderful stories and insights that have come out of our two years as Volunteers in the developing world. We have all benefited in our lives from those years. I am also amazed by the insightful and heartfelt slices of history of these nations written by RPCVs. Everyone’s story is uniquely different and there are many tales to tell by RPCVs. But telling one’s story is not easy. It takes time, dedication, and many drafts. All of the published writers we have gathered for our September Workshop have not had the same experience in writing their stories. They have told their Peace Corps experiences in poems, short stories, essays, memoirs, and in novels. One writer I know took twenty-five . . .

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PCVs binge reading in the Peace Corps

  The New York Times on Sunday, May 5, 2018 had an interesting article by writer Ben Dolnick entitled, “Why You Should Binge Read” how when he lost power and he was unable to watch Netflix or “engage in my customary internet fugue” he started reading and the joy and satisfaction he got from binge reading. Well, he got a lot of comments. The ones from PCVs and RPCVs struck home with me, as they will with you. Here is what a few PCVs and RPCVs had to say as they remembered that time in their lives.   Jean Ethiopia There is nothing quite like the pleasure of living inside a well written novel for a few days. I am currently a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia with limited access to internet and no television. I read a lot of fiction, usually several books a week and it keeps me . . .

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Peace Corps Fund Sponsors Third Goal Writers’ Workshop this September in Maryland

       Peace Corps Fund Sponsors Third Goal Writers’ Workshop this September in Maryland   Release Date: May 1, 2019                                                   Contact: Matt Losak (Lesotho 1985-88) 301-588-3987    Want to spend three days in September on the Eastern Shore of Maryland discussing your book with other RPCV writers and published authors? Peace Corps Writers, with support from the Peace Corps Fund, is arranging a small, inexpensiveworkshop for ten to fifteen RPCVs and formers Peace Corps staff working on their own Peace Corps memoir, poetry, or fiction. The workshop will be held from Wednesday, September 18th to Saturday, September 21rd at Shore Retreats on Broad Creek, on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland. Costs range from $100 for those on tight budgets, $250 for those of modest means, and $500 for those who can afford it. The retreat facility includes shared living quarters, meals and snacks. The writing program will . . .

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Dick Irish’s Last Book (Philippines)

        The late Richard Irish (Philippines 1962-64) posthumous book Allies and Adversaries: Churchill and the Man Who Would Be France was published by his wife Pat Reilly and is about the theatrical collisions between two gargantuan egos: the inexorable force Churchill versus the immoveable body de Gaulle. As Dick wrote: Every melodrama has a villain and mine is Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who tarnished his well-deserved halo by repeatedly attempting to scuttle the Free French movement and consign her founder to history’s trash bin. FDR’s reluctant enabler was Winston Churchill, who by degrees seemed to become Roosevelt’s accomplice but in fact played a crucial role as France’s White Knight. Each personage was driven by something far stronger than mere personal ambition: Churchill incarnated the British bulldog as much as de Gaulle la Furia Française. The quarrels between these leaders, marked mostly by good manners and levitated discourse, were usually due to dissimilar . . .

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Michael Meyer (China) “The Quiet Revolt That Saved China,” Op-Ed, Wall Street Journal

    The Quiet Revolt That Saved China Forty years ago, farmers in Xiaogang village split their commune into family plots. A record harvest followed. by Michael Meyer (China 1995-97) April 16, 2019 7:35 p.m. ET Wall Street Journal • The People’s Republic of China turns 70 in October and will celebrate with flag-waving and fireworks. But 2019 marks several other major Chinese anniversaries whose public remembrance the Communist Party will suppress—and another milestone whose observance has been surprisingly muted. Twenty years ago, it was Falun Gong adherents being arrested. In July 1999 the Communist Party branded the spiritual meditation group an “evil cult.” On April 25, 1999, 10,000 practitioners, many of them elderly, had held a silent demonstration outside Beijing’s Zhongnanhai leadership compound. It was the capital’s largest protest since those held at Tiananmen Square ended—30 years ago this June—with a bloody military crackdown. Sixty years ago on March . . .

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“THE MAGIC STONE and the Woman who Wrote It!” (Kenya)

While Arthur Dobrin was a student at City College in New York, he heard Harris Wofford speak at the college, and afterwards he went to Lyn and said, “Let’s join the Peace Corps.” In August of 1964, shortly before they were married, Lyn and Arthur Dobrin, applied to the Peace Corps. They were first offered Volunteer placement inThailand. “We didn’t want to do it because the assignment involved moving all over the country. We wanted to stay in one place and Arthur was more interested in Africa so when we were offered a project in cooperative development in Kenya, we said yes.” In addition to her assigned role of working with farmers cooperatives, Lyn had two additional goals. She wanted to write a cookbook and collect folk tales. She had decided before leaving for Kenya that she wanted to “write something that Kenyan children could relate to.” The cookbook never . . .

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Current New Yorker features Peter Hessler’s (China) new book

    “The Refugee and the Thief,” a chapter in Peter Hessler’s (China 1996-98) new book is featured in the April 1, 2019 issue of The New Yorker. The book is entitled The Buried: An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution.  It will be published in May. Manu fled Egypt a little bit at a time. First, he flew to Cyprus, because he knew a travel agent who helped him get a visa. Manu spent a few days in Larnaca, and he got a tattoo in Nicosia, and then he returned to Cairo. The next stop was Saudi Arabia. Visas were easy to get for Egyptians performing the ‘umrah’ pilgrimage, and Manu had a relative in the country. It may have been the first time in history that a gay man was going to Mecca as part of a plan to escape a Muslim country, but Manu wanted his passport stamped. . . .

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