Review | THE NARROW WINDOW by Gary D. Wilson (Swaziland)


Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Philip Peters (Swaziland 69/70 & Botswana 75/76)


The shocking rape of a Peace Corps volunteer shatters the precarious balance of American idealism and hypocrisy in 1969 Swaziland, a newly independent country dealing with its own equally fraught post-colonial issues.

Full of fascinating characters in exquisitely described exotic locations, where everyone has their own agenda, the new modernity mixes with native customs and spirits, and expats only think they know what’s really going on.

Gary D. Wilson (Swaziland 1969-71)

Above all, Wilson’s heartbreaking novel exposes the irony of our country’s continuing desire to benevolently remake the world in one part of the globe while waging war in another and what happens to those trying to make it all work. A tale of identity and the meaning of belonging. The scars we leave behind and the scars we take with us.


Gary D. Wilson’s first novel, Sing, Ronnie Blue, was a best-seller and appeared in 2007. His second novel Getting Right (John Hunt Publishing, UK, January 2016) has been called “compelling” and filled with “grace, grit, and gentle humor.”

He has influenced the writing world through his time teaching fiction and short story writing at both Johns Hopkins University and the University of Chicago Graham School. He has published widely in literary magazines, including Glimmer Train, Quarterly West, Witness, In Posse Review, and The William and Mary Review.

Wilson’s stories have been anthologized by Red Hen Press and W. W. Norton’s Flash Fiction Forward. His short fiction collections have been finalists for The University of Pittsburgh Press Drue Heinz Literature Prize and The Iowa Short Fiction Award. He has also been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He and his wife live in Chicago and have two sons.


The Narrow Window
by Gary D. Wilson (Swaziland 1969-71)
Roundfire Books
296 pages
March 2024
$9.49 (Kindle); $16.72 (Paperback)


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  • Dear John Coyne

    I do enjoy reading each of the articles that Volunteers write about their experiences with/during and after the Peace Corps.
    Please continue this website. I am sure that many others enjoy it also.

      • Just because we don’t comment, does not mean that we aren’t reading the posts. I often read the stories and have nothing more to add.

        Please continue with this important site. It’s how we remain a community, among other attributes.


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