Writers From the Peace Corps: The Lost Generation, Part Nine

As Others See Us
On September 9, 2001, on the 40th anniversary of the agency, The Washington Post reported that the Peace Corps community is “churning out enough works – thousands of memoirs, novels, and books of poetry – to warrant a whole new genre: Peace Corps Literature.” Also in 2001, Book Magazine wrote in the March/April issue about the literary movement of Peace Corps writers, quoting Paul Theroux, Bob Shacochis and Kent Haruf.

Then there is the review that appeared in the November 2001 issue of Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy about the collection of Peace Corps stories that were published in Living On The Edge. The reviewer was Patrick Shannon of Penn State University and he wrote.

“None of the contributors are protagonists in their chapters, but each chapter is based on some event that the writer witnessed, experienced, or heard about. By telling the stories, the contributors seem to reconsider their experiences overseas and enable readers to consider (or perhaps reconsider) U.S. actions in the developing world. Those actions can serve as a metaphor for readers’ experiences with human and cultural differences. In this way, the book offers a triple treat. Readers learn a little about parts of the world they may never see for themselves, they are entertained by a good yarn, and they can learn about themselves as well.”

What more could a Peace Corps writer want?

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