RPCV Writers 2020 — Happy New Year Vols!

A Work in Progress: RPCV Authors

Thirty-one years ago, Marian Haley Beil and I (both Ethiopia 1962-64) began to identify Peace Corps Writers. It was our Third Goal Project to spread the story of the Peace Corps in developing countries by promoting the writings of RPCVs here at home.  We did this as two former volunteers, not connected to the Peace Corps agency or the NPCA.

We began in April 1989 with a newsletter Peace Corps Writers & Readers and now on a website: www.peacecorpsworldwide.org We announce new books, have them reviewed, interview authors, and publish writings by RPCVs. We also started with Create Space/Amazon a line of Peace Corps Writers Books. Marian Beil is the creative publishing genius behind these projects. She receives help from her gifted son, Noah, who is also a tech genius. (It runs in the family. Husband and father Don Beil ((Somalia 1964-66)) is the author of 13 computer books.)

Marian and I also give cash awards in different categories for the best books published every year by RPCVs. We fund these cash awards with the help of contributions from RPCVs who share in our desire to promote Peace Corps writers.

So that our readers might know what books have been written about the Peace Corps and Volunteers, Marian created–by country of service–a bibliography of books written by RPCVs. It is available at this link:  https://peacecorpsworldwide.org/books/peace-corps-experience-books/

To have your book listed email Marian at: marian@haleybeil.com

The Peace Corps experience has produced a number of RPCVs who have written and published books beyond their own stories of life as a PCV. Many former Volunteers have become well-known authors. Among them are the novelist and travel writer Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65); mystery author Phillip Margolin (Liberia 1965-67); poet Ann Neelon (Senegal 1978-79); journalist Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66); award-winning short story author Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-93); historian Peter Schwab (Liberia 1962-64); biographer Laurence Leamer (Nepal 1965-67); travel writer Craig Storti (Morocco 1970-72);1976 Newberry Award winner Mildred D. Taylor (Ethiopia 1965-67), and award-winning photographer Kevin Bubriski (Nepal 1975-78). The list goes on and on.

To identify all of these full-time and part-time authors, I ask your help in expanding our list of authors. If you, or someone you know, have published two or more novels, non-fiction, academic studies, poetry, YA, children’s books, or collections of short stories, please contact me so I might add the name to this list. My email is: jcoyneone@gmail.com

Here is our list of 172 RPCV authors as of January 5, 2020.

Tom Adams (Togo 1974-76)
Peter S. Adler (India 1966–68)
Jane Albritton (India 1967-69)
D. Allman (Nepal 1966-68
Lauri Anderson (Nigeria 1963-65)
Ron Arias (Peru 1963-64)
Jim Averbeck (Cameroon 1990-94)

Bill Barich (Nigeria 1964-66)
Donald Beil (Somalia 1964-66)
Tom Bissell (Uzbekistan 1996)
Mary Blocksma (Nigeria 1965-67)
Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-93)
Tom Brosnahan (Turkey 1967-69)
Kevin Bubriski (Nepal 1975-78)
Geri Marr Burdman (Bolivia 1962-64)

Craig Carozzi (Colombia 1978-80)
Suzy McKee Charnas (Nigeria 1961-63)
Dexter Fisher aka Dexter Cirillo (Colombia, 1965-67)
Beverly Clark (Fiji 1971-73
Thurston Clarke (Tunisia 1968)
Steve Clapp (Nigeria 1962-64)
Dan Close (Ethiopia 1966-68)
Harlan Coben (PC/W 1982-84).
Tracey Cohen (Namibia 2003-05)
Christopher Conlon (Botswana 1988-90)
Martha Cooper (Thailand 1963-65)
Kathleen Coskran (Ethiopia 1965-67)
Paul Cowan (Ecuador 1966-67)
John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962-64)
Timothy Crouse (Morocco 1968-69)

Christopher West Davis (Kenya 1975-78)
Leita Kaldi (Senegal 1993-96)
Susan Davis (Morocco 1965-67)
Harriet Denison (Tanzania 1966-67)
Jeanne D’Haem (Somalia 1968-70)
Mark Dintenfass (Ethiopia 1964-66)
Donald Dirnberger (West Indies 1977-79)
Kay Gillies Dixon (Colombia 1962-64)
Arthur Dobrin (Kenya 1965-67)
Lyn Dobrin (Kenya 1965-67)
Eileen Drew (Zaire 1979-81)
Dan Douglas (Botswana 1968-70)
Tony D’Souza (Ivory Coast 2000-02, Madagascar 2002-03)

Ben East (Malawi 1996-98)
Patricia Taylor Edmisten (Peru 1962-64)
David Engel (Thailand 1968-71)

Audrey (Benecick) Fielding (Peru 1964-66)
Hank Fincken (Peru & Costa Rica 1970-73)
C. Jai Ferry (Nanette Day Turkmenistan 1994-1998)
Kenneth Flies (Brazil 1962-64)
John Michael Flynn (Moldova 1993-95)
Kinky Friedman (Borneo 1967-69)
Steve Foehr (Ethiopia 1965-67)

Martin R. Ganzglass (Somalia 1966-68)
Clifford Garstang (Korea 1976-77)
John Givens (Korea 1967-69)
Steve Griffiths (Malaysia 1968-70)

Jon Halter (Venezuela 1966-68)
Thor Hanson (Uganda 1993-95)
Joshua A.H. Harris (Mali 1996-98)
Kent Haruf (Turkey 1965-67)
Tom Hebert (Nigeria 1962-64)
Harvey Helfand (Micronesia 1966-68)
Tom Heidlebaugh (Kenya 1965-68)
Peter Hessler (China 1996-98)
Michael Hillman (Iran 1965-67)
Kris Holloway (Mali 1989-91)
Chris Honore’ (Colombia 1967-69)
Phyllis Greenberg Houseman (Ecuador 1962-64)

Prudence Ingerman (Bolivia 1962-64)
Richard Irish (Philippines 1962-64)

Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978-80)
J.P. Jones (Tunisia 1966-68)

Steve Kaffen (Russia 1994-96)
Eldon Katter (Ethiopia 1962-64)
Rea Keech (Iran 1967-69)
Geraldine Kennedy (Liberia 1962-64)
Barry Kitterman (Belize 1976-78)
Tom Klobe (Iran 1965-67)
P.F. Kluge (Micronesia 1967-69)
Jon Kohl (Costa Rica 1993-95)
Alan Krasner (Cameroon 1980-82)
Jonathan Kwitny (Nigeria 1964-66)

Charles R. Larson (Nigeria 1962-64)
Karen Lange (Liberia 1984-86)
Eric Lax (Micronesia 1966-68)
Laurence Leamer (Nepal 1965-67)
Peter Lefcourt (Togo 1962-64)
Leonard Levitt (Tanzania 1963-65)
Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras 1975-77)
John Limbert (Iran 1964-66)
Richard Lipez (Ethiopia 1962-64)
Joe Lurie (Kenya 1967-70)
Karl Luntta (Botswana 1977-80)
Jacqueline Lyons (Lesotho 1992-95)

Eve MacMaster (Turkey 1968-70)
Chris Matthews (Swaziland 1968-70)
Phillip Margolin (Liberia 1965-67)
Andy Martin (Ethiopia 1965-68)
Patricia McArdie (Paraguay 1972-74)
Bruce McDonald (Bulgaria 2002-04)
Peter McDonough (Nepal 1962-64)
Tyler McMahon (El Salvador 1999-02)
Roland Merullo (Micronesia 1979-80)
Don Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963-65)
Mike Meyer (China 1995-97)
Bob Moffitt (Malawi 1964-66)
Joseph Monninger (Burkina Faso 1975-77)
Stephen Most (Peru 1965-67)
Jennifer Mueller (Kenya 1997-99
Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65)
Carolyn Mulford (Ethiopia 1962-64)
Edward Mycue (Ghana 1961)
Lenore Myka (Romania 1994-96)

Ann Neelon (Senegal 1978-79)
Steve Nesbit (Sierra Leone 1972-75)
Chris Newhall (Philippines 1970-72 & 1974-76)

Joanne Omang (Turkey 1964-66)
Mary Le Duc O’Neill (Ghana & Costa Rica 1970-74)
Susan O’Neill (Venezuela 1973-74)
Bill Owens (Jamaica 1964-66)
Steven Orr (Panama 1964-66)
Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66)
Tom O’Toole (Central African Republic & Guinea 1963-65)

George Packer (Togo 1982-84)
Ann Panning (Philippines 1988-90)
Bill Preston (Thailand 1977-80)

Dave Reiner (Zaire 1972-74)
Reilly Ridgell (Micronesia 1971-73)
Lex Rieffel (India 1965-67)
Teresa Roberson (Tanzania 1992-94)
Kristen Roupenian (Kenya 2003-05)
John Rothchild (Ecuador 1968-70)

Michael Saba (Malaysia 1965-67
Nancy Scheper-Hughes (Brazil 1964-66)
Renate A. Schulz (Nigeria 1963-65; Mali 2011-12; Mexico 2013-16)
Michael Schmicker (Thailand 1968-70)
Peter Schwab (Liberia 1962-64)
P. David Searles (DC Staff & CD Philippines 1971-76)
William Seraile (Ethiopia 1963-65)
Bob Shacochis (Eastern Caribbean 1975-76)
James W. Skelton, Jr. (Ethiopia 1970-72)
Charlie Smith (Micronesia 1968-70)
Mary-Ann Tirone Smith (Cameroon 1965-67)
Tom Spanbauer (Kenya 1969-71)
Eleanor Stanford (Cape Verde 1998-2000)
Craig Storti (Morocco 1970-72)
Richard A. Sundt (Marshall Islands 1967-69)

Starley Talbott (Starley Anderson, South Africa 2001)
Franklin Tainter (Chile 1964-66)
Terry Tallent (Samoa 1974-75)
Mildred D. Taylor (Ethiopia 1965-67)
Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65)
Maria Thomas (Ethiopia 1971-73)
Moritz Thomsen (Ecuador 1965-67)
Starley Talbott Thompson (South Africa 2001)
Robert Thurston (Venezuela 1968-70)
Mike Tidwell (Zaire 1985-87)
Mark Troy (Thailand 1972-75)

Ellen Urbani (Guatemala 1991-93)

Michael Varga (Chad 1977–79)
Robin Varnum (Afghanistan 1971-73)

Patricia Waak (Brazil 1966-68)
Mark Walker (Guatemala 1971-73)
Kanika Welch (The Gambia 2016-18)
Mark Wentling (Honduras 1967-69)
Richard Wiley (Korea 1967-69)
Bryant Wieneke (Niger 1974-76)
Jonathan Williams (Morocco 2008-10)
Susi Wyss (Central African Republic 1990-92)

Simone Zelitch (Hungary 1991-93)
Tony Zurlo (Nigeria 1963-65)

#172 RPCV authors


Leave a comment
  • John and Marian, we need to establish an award for your joint efforts to recognize PCV & RPCV write.
    Thanks for your tireless efforts, and may the new year 2020 be the best ever — to you and all the writers you have recognized in print and on the website..
    Don Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963-65)

  • I agree as well! I often think, where would we all be without their herculean, selfless effort on our behalf as writers. They’ve created a literary canon within which we can exist. No mean feat!

  • Thank you all…Marian and I don’t need awards…..What we hope to achieve is a literary movement entitled “Peace Corps Prose”, That would be our award. Keep telling the Peace Corps story.

  • P.S. – There are currently 465 books listed in the Bibliography of the Peace Corps Experience.

    Since 2010 92 books have been published by the Peace Corps Writers imprint, of those 53 are about the Peace Corps experience.

    • I wholeheartedly agree! I am in awe of the Dedicated Work of John and Marián over the decades.
      May each New Day be kind to you both, and may we all continue to be motivated by your leadership
      in promoting “Peace Corps Prose.”
      Thank you…thank you.
      Geri Marr Burdman
      RPCV Bolivia (1962-64)

  • John and Marian,

    Both of you should be in the Peace Corps Hall of Fame! Seriously, you’ve created such a fabulous platform from which the story of the Peace Corps has been told by so many in such creative and individual ways. I’m extremely proud of you and grateful to you for all you’ve done in the name of all of the RPCVs.

    Thank you,

    Jim Skelton

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