Kazakhstan

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New books by Peace Corps writers | September – October 2022
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Review — A FIVE FINGER FEAST by Tim Suchsland (Kazakhstan)
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Review — A FIVE FINGER FEAST by Tim Suchsland (Kazakhstan)
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2022 Winner of the Best Short Story Collection — A HUSBAND AND WIFE ARE ONE SATAN
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16 New books by Peace Corps writers — May and June, 2022
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Talking with Tim Suchsland (Kazakhstan)
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Review — A HUSBAND AND WIFE ARE ONE SATAN by Jeff Fearnside ( Kazakhstan)
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A Writer Writes: Kitchen Diplomacy

New books by Peace Corps writers | September – October 2022

To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com — CLICK on the book cover, the bold book title, or the publishing format you would like — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance from your purchase that will help support the site and the annual Peace Corps Writers awards. We include a brief description for each of the books listed here in hopes of encouraging readers  to order a book and/or  to VOLUNTEER TO REVIEW IT.  See a book you’d like to review for Peace Corps Worldwide? Send a note to Marian at marian@haleybeil.com, and she will send you a free copy along with a few instructions. P.S. In addition to the books listed below, I have on my shelf a number of other books whose authors would love for you to review. Go to Books Available for Review to see what is on that shelf. Please, please join in our Third . . .

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Review — A FIVE FINGER FEAST by Tim Suchsland (Kazakhstan)

  A Five Finger Feast: Two Years in Kazakhstan, Lessons from the Peace Corps by Tim  Suchsland (Kazakhstan 2007–09), author and illustrator Peace Corps Writers, May 2022 395 pages $19.99 (paperback) Reviewed by Philip Montgomery (Kazakhstan 2007–09) • Travel is one of the greatest educators in life. Even more educational — worldview shaping even — is living in a country that is not your own, understanding what it means to be the outsider, the guest, the stranger. In this sense, all travel is not equal. Some journeys break up the monotony of everyday life, while others leave immense, immeasurable impacts on the sojourner, the kinds of experience that shape us more completely. Tim Suchsland’s A Five Finger Feast is an account of one such journey. In this memoir, Suchsland takes the reader along with him through his 2-year adventure of travel, growth, and discovery. Rather than presenting a superficial touristy version . . .

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Review — A FIVE FINGER FEAST by Tim Suchsland (Kazakhstan)

  A Five Finger Feast: Two Years in Kazakhstan, Lessons from the Peace Corps by Tim  Suchsland (Kazakhstan 2007–09), author and illustrator Peace Corps Writers, May 2022 395 pages $19.99 (paperback) Reviewed by John Chromey (India 1963–65); (PC CD/Eastern Caribbean (1977–79); (Assoc Dir-PC/Washington 1979–1981) • Tim Suchsland, a teacher and artist, takes the reader on a very interesting journey into a vast corner of the world that  none of us has ever seen, of which we know virtually nothing, which borders on Russia’s infamous Siberia and yet is populated with very interesting people — Kazaks from many tribes, Armenians, Volga Germans and Russians — each with a story of how their people came to be in the village of Valenka, twenty miles from the Russian border and 840 miles (22 hours by road) from the Kazakh capitol, Almaty. Any of us who served in the Peace Corps in the 1960s, ’70s . . .

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2022 Winner of the Best Short Story Collection — A HUSBAND AND WIFE ARE ONE SATAN

by Jeff Fearnside Kazakhstan 2002–04     I find a great deal of pleasure in reading fiction set in other cultures or countries, especially when the work demonstrates more than a superficial understanding of the place about which it is written. That was one motivation behind the anthology series I curated, Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet (Press 53 2016). It was also in that context that I first became aware of Jeff Fearnside’s work when his story set in Kazakhstan, “A Husband and Wife are One Satan,” was included in the first volume of that series. I recognized then that, having been a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan, Fearnside had the depth of knowledge of his chosen setting to bring the culture and his characters to life in both an informative and entertaining way. It was a joy, then, to discover that the story we published is the title . . .

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16 New books by Peace Corps writers — May and June, 2022

  To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com — CLICK on the book cover, the bold book title, or the publishing format you would like — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance from your purchase that will help support the site and the annual Peace Corps Writers awards. We include a brief description for each of the books listed here in hopes of encouraging readers  to order a book and/or  to VOLUNTEER TO REVIEW IT.  See a book you’d like to review for Peace Corps Worldwide? Send a note to Marian at marian@haleybeil.com, and she will send you a copy along with a few instructions. In addition to the books listed below, I have on my shelf a number of other books whose authors would love for you to review. Go to Books Available for Review to see what is on that shelf. Please, please join in our Third Goal . . .

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Talking with Tim Suchsland (Kazakhstan)

  Where and when did you serve in the Peace Corps, and what was your Peace Corp project assignment? Kazakhstan, 2007-09 — I was a TEFL teacher in a village near the Russian border called Yavlenka. Tell us about where you lived and worked. Yavlenka is in northern Kazakhstan about 50 miles from the Russian border and 1.5 hours from a city called Petropavl. The village was a regional center so it had quite a bit of activity and business for rural Kazakhstan. It was also a big agricultural area so lots of farming in the area. The landscape was fairly flat where the Kazakh steppe met the West Siberian Plains. I lived with host families my entire time in the PC. During training, I lived with a Kazakh family. My first year in Yavlenka I also lived with a Kazakh family of 5. In my last year, I lived with . . .

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Review — A HUSBAND AND WIFE ARE ONE SATAN by Jeff Fearnside ( Kazakhstan)

  A Husband and Wife Are One Satan  Jeff Fearnside (Kazakhstan 2002–04) Orison Books September 2021 40 pages $12.00 (paperback), $7.49 (Kindle) Reviewed by Clifford Garstang (Korea 1976-77) • I find a great deal of pleasure in reading fiction set in other cultures or countries, especially when the work demonstrates more than a superficial understanding of the place about which it is written. That was one motivation behind the anthology series I curated, Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet (published by Press 53 in 2016). It was also in that context that I first became aware of Jeff Fearnside’s work when his story set in Kazakhstan, “A Husband and Wife are One Satan,” was included in the first volume of that series. I recognized then that, having been a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan, Fearnside had the depth of knowledge of his chosen setting to bring the culture and his . . .

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A Writer Writes: Kitchen Diplomacy

    Kristin Ruger, who served in Kazakhstan,  just received her Master’s Degree in Peace Studies and while it hasn’t (yet!) enabled her to get a job, it has helped her understand why “nations and people do the crazy things they do to each other.” Kristin currently lives, she writes, “with the woman of her dreams, whom she met while in the Peace Corps, and is currently searching for the ultimate brownie recipe.” Here is what Kristin has to say as she looks back at her Peace Corps career in Kazakhstan. • Kitchen Diplomacy by Kristin Ruger (Kazahkstan 2005-07) Very early into my Peace Corps training period in Kazakhstan, I got into the habit of walking through Qapshygay with my friend Greg. Qapshygay has seen better days.  Although it is a “recreation zone” due to its proximity to a huge man-made resevoir, the main industry of the area had closed . . .

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