Peace Corps Worldwide Awards

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Winners of the 2021 Peace Corps Writers Book Awards
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Winner of the 2021 Peace Corps Writers Maria Thomas Fiction Award
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Winner of the 2021 Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award
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2021 Peace Corps Writers’ Marian Haley Beil Award for Best Book Review to Rich Wandschneider (Turkey) for AN INDIAN AMONG LOS INDIGENAS by Ursula Pike
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Peace Corps Worldwide Awards: 2021 Paul Cowan Award for Best Non-Fiction to Peter Reid (Tanzania)
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Book Award — Best Peace Corps Memoir of 2021

Winners of the 2021 Peace Corps Writers Book Awards

  Winner of the 2021 Peace Corps Writer of the Year Award For her entire body of work Mildred D. Taylor (Ethiopia 1965-67)     Winner of the 2021 Peace Corps Writers Maria Thomas Fiction Award Streets of Golfito: A Novel by Jim LaBate (Costa Rica 1973-75)   Winner of the 2021 Peace Corps Writers Paul Cowan Non- fiction Award Every Hill A Burial Place: The Peace Corps Murder Trial in East Africa by Peter H. Reid (Tanzania 1964–66)     Winner of the 2021 Peace Corps Writers’ Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award Between Inca Walls: A Peace Corps Memoir by Evelyn Kohl La Torre (Peru 1964-66)     Winner of the 2021 Peace Corps Writers’  Marian Haley Beil Best Book Review Award Rich Wandschneider (Turkey 1965-67) for review of An Indian Among Los Indigenas by Ursula Pike     Winner of the 2021 Peace Corps Writers’ Rowland Scherman Award . . .

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Winner of the 2021 Peace Corps Writers Maria Thomas Fiction Award

  Streets of Golfito: A Novel by Jim LaBate (Costa Rica 1973-75) Mohawk River Press 252 pages October 2020 $9.99 (Kindle); $19.95 (Paperback Review by James W. Skelton, Jr. (Ethiopia 1970-72) • Jim LaBate has crafted an exceptional Peace Corps novel that takes place in Golfito, Costa Rica, the same town in which he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) in the 1970s. One of the main characters is, coincidentally, named Jim, a prospective PCV, who has just arrived in Costa Rica in 1974 to train for his assignment as a Sports Promoter. While attending in-country orientation in San Jose, one of the Peace Corps administrators advises Jim to change his name if he really wants to immerse himself into the culture. The PC official’s reasoning is that Costa Ricans seem to accept the PCVs more readily if they use a name that’s familiar to them. So, Jim adopts the . . .

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Winner of the 2021 Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award

Between Inca Walls: A Peace Corps Memoir By Evelyn Kohl La Torre (Peru 1964-66) She Writes Press 256 pages August 2020 $16.95 (paperback); $8.99 (kindle) Reviewed by Mark D. Walker (Guatemala 1971-73) • This book is well written as the president of the National Association of Memoir Writers Linda Joy Myers describes, “Evelyn LaTorre creates a masterful portrait of place — from the Montana hills to the peaks of Perú — and illustrates how place shapes us. The many lovely metaphors and descriptions throughout the book invite the reader to see through the eyes of an innocent girl as she discovers exotic, lively cultures; absorbs the colors, sounds, passion, and intensity of that new world; and allows it to change her life path.” One scene in Cusco, Peru provides a myriad of details which gave a real sense of this exotic community — Scores of small dark, leather-skinned Indians ran . . .

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2021 Peace Corps Writers’ Marian Haley Beil Award for Best Book Review to Rich Wandschneider (Turkey) for AN INDIAN AMONG LOS INDIGENAS by Ursula Pike

  The Peace Corps Writers’ Best Book Review Award is named in honor of Marian Haley Beil (Ethiopia 1962-64), co-founder and publisher since 1989 of the Peace Corps Writers newsletter, website, and book imprint. Following her tour of service, Marian worked for 4 years in the Office of Reports and Special Studies at Peace Corps Headquarters. She founded the Ethiopia & Eritrea RPCV group in 1991, and later co-founded Rochester RPCVs. Rich’s Review My two-year Peace Corps experience ended with a 20-kilometer minivan trip from our Turkish-Kurdish village to the train station in the city of Diyarbakir, in southeastern Turkey. When my village partner Barb and I got to the platform with our bags and boxes, other minivans showed up with a dozen or more of our village friends. The picture of that leaving and the faces and dress of some of those villagers have been fixed in my mind . . .

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Peace Corps Worldwide Awards: 2021 Paul Cowan Award for Best Non-Fiction to Peter Reid (Tanzania)

THE PAUL COWAN NON-FICTION AWARD, first given 1990, was named to honor Paul Cowan, a Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Ecuador from 1966 to 1967. Cowan wrote about his time as a Volunteer in Latin America in the ’60s. A longtime activist and political writer for The Village Voice, Cowan died of leukemia in 1988. • Every Hill a Burial Place The Peace Corps Murder Trial in East Africa   by Peter H. Reid (Tanzania 1964-66) 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 . . .

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Book Award — Best Peace Corps Memoir of 2021

  In Search of Pink Flamingos: A Woman’s Quest for Forgiveness and Unconditional Love     By Susan E. Greisen (Liberia 1971-73; Tonga 1973-74)   A young woman defies her parents’ demands to become a farmer’s wife. At age nineteen, with a suitcase full of farm-smarts and a license to be a practical nurse, Susan joins the Peace Corps in Africa. She meets multiple challenges in her remote Liberian village and falls short of her unrealistic goals. An interracial romance further aggravates her parents who eventually disown her. When Susan finds the pink flamingos, she discovers what she had been searching for all along. Her journey is one of passion, strength and finding forgiveness and unconditional love.   Susan writes… The last time I received a first-place blue ribbon I was twelve years old at my grade school track competition. I was one of seven in the 100-yard dash. But . . .

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