New books by Peace Corps Writers — May 2017


To purchase any of these books from —
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We are now including 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, and we’ll send you a copy along with a few instructions.

Portraits of Innocence: The Children of Ahero
Bie  Bostrom (Kenya  2004–06)
May, 2017
42 pages
$20.00 (paperback)

Here are African children in their daily activities: balancing pails of water on their heads; watching after younger siblings; toting twigs home for household cooking fires; tending to the family cattle; preparing dinner; carrying objects that appear heavier than the kids themselves; and sometimes just goofing off.

Spies and Deserters: A Novel of the American Revolution
Martin R. Ganzglass (Somalia 1966–68)
Peace Corps Writers
April 26, 2017
378 pages
$14.72 (paperback)

Spies and Deserters follows eighteen year old Will Stoner, a Lieutenant in General Henry Knox’s artillery regiment, and his friend, Private Adam Cooper, an African American in the Marblehead Mariners, from the bleak, disease ridden camp at Valley Forge through the cauldron of the summer heat of the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse, to the bloody, vicious guerrilla war between Whig and Tory militias and irregulars in southern New Jersey. 

Going to Mexico: Stories of My Peace Corps Service
David H. Greegor (Mexico 2007–11)
April 2017
140 pages
$14.99 (paperback), $6.99 (Kindle)

The author offers personal accounts of not only the life of a Volunteer, but the lives of the Mexican people, probes the side of México not often seen by visitors — the small pueblos, and provides a humorous, but at times poignant, perspective.

A Touch of Peace
Peace Corps novel
J R Groothuis (Ecuador 1991–93)
4 Square Books
September 2016
250 pages
A fictional story based on the experiences of the Chancho basketball team made up of Peace Corps Volunteers in Ecuador.

Mukho Memories: A Peace Corps/Korea Memoir
Don  Haffner (Korea 1972–75)
Dog Ear Publishing
May 2017
406 pages
$20.00 (paperback), $9.99 (Kindle)

This is the entertaining story of a guy from downriver Detroit who challenged the status quo while teaching middle school English in a small seaside town in Korea.

7 Hours to Sofia: Challenges and Discoveries of a Peace Corps Volunteer
Louise Mae Hoffmann (Bulgaria 2009-10)
Burning Daylight Press
May 2017
359 pages
$29.42 (paperback)

Louise Hoffmann, telling her story through emails, letters and journals of joining the PC on the brink of her 65th birthday after working in education 40+ years in the US, describes the highs and lows of her emotions, her travel adventures with Bulgarian colleagues, the challenges of learning the Cyrillic alphabet and to speak Bulgarian so that she can teach the students in her village of Topolitsa near the Black Sea.

Sit and Cry: Two Years In the Land of Smiles
Burgess  Needle (Thailand 1967–69)
Wren Song Press
April 2017
326 pages
$12.95 (paperback)

This is a day-by-day account of the life of Burgess Needle, a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand in the late 1960s, offers the reader insights into rural Thai life and culture, the impact of the Vietnam War, the angst of living in a completely strange environment, the struggles of trying to communicate in an alien language, loneliness and the desire for love or at least physical contact.

Mother Land: A Novel
by Paul  Theroux (Malawi 1963–65)
Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
May 2017
528 pages
$28.00 (hardcover), $15.99 (Kindle)

Mother Land is a piercing portrait of how a parent’s narcissism impacts a family.

Kill the Gringo: The Life of Jack Hood Vaughn
Jack Hood Vaughn with Jane Constantineau
Rare Bird Books
May 2017
389 pages
$17.95 (paperback), $11.03 (Kindle)

American diplomat, Director of the Peace Corps, US ambassador to Colombia and Panama, and conservationist

Dead Cow Road: Life on the Front Lines of an International Crisis
by Mark Wentling (Honduras 1967–69, Togo 1970–73; PC Staff: Togo, Gabon, Niger 1973–77)
Page Publishing
March 2017
506 pages
$24.95 (paperback), $9.99 (Kindle)

This is a compelling work of historical fiction that focuses on the US government’s controversial handling of Somalia’s 1992 famine, viewed through the eyes of a US  Foreign Service Officer.

Seasoned: A Memoir of Grief and Grace
by Tom Zink (Micronesia 1968–70)
Off the Common
238 pages
$20.00 (paperback)

A story of the author’s unwitting grief journey of five decades after his older brother, Steve, died when they were teenagers; a journey that led him far and wide to the Peace Corps, around the world, across the country several times, and finally, full circle back to his brother’s grave to face with he had lost.


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