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 writes full-time in Pasadena. He is the author of five other critically acclaimed novels in the Darko Dawson series, Wife of the Gods, Children of the Street, Murder at Cape Three Points, Gold of Our Fathers and Death by His Grace. Find him on Instagram @crimefictionwithkweiquartey and on his website, kweiquartey.com.
Or you can wait until mid-January when mystery writer Richard Lipez (Ethiopia 1962-64) publishes his review of the novel in the Washington Post. Dick’s word to me is that the book is “really good.”