EVERYWHERE STORIES Contributor Spotlight: Mark Jacobs (Paraguay)


Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet Volume III is now available for pre-order. Like the earlier volumes, this book includes 20 short stories, by 20 writers, set in 20 countries.

Mark Jacobs

Mark Jacobs’s story in Everywhere Stories III, “Getting Out, ” is set in Côte d’Ivoire.

Mark comments on “Getting Out”:

During several visits to Africa, I ran into Lebanese who were living and working in countries that were and were not their own. In some cases, they were born in Africa, like the principal characters in “Getting Out,” who were born in Côte d’Ivoire. But they retained their Arabic, their French, even if they learned indigenous languages. And they retained their cultural identity as Lebanese. It struck me as a condition of permanent exile. Their experience was quite different from that of my father’s family, who emigrated to the United States in the early years of the twentieth century. In the course of a generation, the Jacobs family lost most of their Arabic at a rate roughly commensurate with their adoption of a new identity as Americans. But the line that reverberates in the memory of Anton Khoury — “The Lebanese are Phoenicians, the Lebanese are traders”— reverberates in mine, too. In Anton’s case, it belonged to his grandfather. In my case, it was something my father, Tom Jacobs, used to say.

About Mark Jacobs —

His story “How Birds Communicate” won The Iowa Review fiction prize in 1997. He has stories forthcoming in several magazines including The Hudson Review, Pembroke Magazine, Main Street Rag, and Delmarva Review. His story “Dream State” won the 2014 Dr. T. J. Eckleburg Franz Kafka Award in Magic Realism. His five books include A Handful of Kings, published by Simon and Shuster, and Stone Cowboy, by Soho Press, which won the 1998 Peace Corps Writers Maria Thomas Award for Fiction. His website is MarkJacobsAuthor.com.

About Clifford Garstang, editor of Everywhere Stories III

Clifford Garstang

Clifford Garstang (Korea 1976-77) is a fiction writer and former international lawyer.

His first novel, The Shaman of Turtle Valley, will be published in March 2019.  His novel in stories, What The Zhang Boys Know, won the Library of Virginia Literary Award for Fiction. He is also the author of a story collection, In An Uncharted Country, and the editor of three anthologies, Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet, Volumes I, II and III.

Cliff’s Upcoming events —

  • Workshop: Manuscript Revision
    Saturday, 03 November 2018
    Cliff will be teaching a workshop on manuscript revision at the Virginia Writers’ Club Symposium.
  • High Road Festival
    Saturday, 23 March 2019
    Cliff will be speaking at Press 53’s High Road Festival of Poetry and Short Fiction in Winston-Salem, NC.
    @ Marriott Hotel, Winston-Salem NC


Other RPCV writers in this new collection of Everywhere Stories III are:

Molly Fessler (Belize 2014-16)
           Ben Berman (Zimbabwe 1998-2000)
     Frank Light Afghanistan 1970-72)
Arthur Powers (Brazil 1969-73)
       Jeanne D’Haem (Somalia 1968-70)



Leave a comment
  • Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction From a Small Planet Volume III will also include one of my stories, The Promise. Is is set in Somalia. It is exciting to see other Peace Corps writers included.

  • I’d get the book just to read Mark’s article. He must be the most prolific magazine article writer in the RPCV world! When I worked in Sierra Leone I found a similar phenomenon with the Lebanese there. One unforgettable restaurant on the beach, the”Lighthouse” outside of Freetown, had the best food in town–it was Lebanese. I made friends with a number of Armenians who were also exiled for life, but under different circumstances.

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