Matt Davis (Mongolia 2000-02) stayed in-country for a year after his Peace Corps tour, then returned home and found his way to Iowa’s famous writing program where in 2007 he earned an MFA in non-fiction.
Matt recently sold his first book When Things Get Dark: A Mongolian Winter’s Tale to St. Martin’s Press. The book, he says, “is in large measure a memoir of my time as a PCV in the Mongolian countryside.”
There is no firm publication date set, though it looks like the book will come out in early 2010. Davis now is working on revisions and fact checking and living in Washington, D.C. and getting another masters, this time at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in DC.
After finishing his MFA in the writing program at Iowa he had a fellowship where he worked for the International Writing Program in Iowa City. It was during this period that he became interested in the idea of cultural diplomacy. One os his mentors at Iowa encouraged him to look at studying for a masters at Hopkins which he is doing now. This summer, however, he will be headed for Damascus to study Arabic and work on a novel.
Back to his first book. It is three things: a memoir, a collection of five travel narratives on Mongolian history, and a look at Mongolia’s changing landscape from countryside to city and how that’s impacting the people there, especially in the countryside. We’ll be interviewing Matt before he heads off to the Middle East about his Peace Corps career and his book.