Peace Corps Writers
New medium — new name

In RPCV Writers & Readers we called it “Cable Traffic.” The thought's the same, though — we'll report on Peace Corps writers, their accomplishments, the notices they are receiving in the press and, on occasion, we may even have a few tasty tidbits of gossip.

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Literary Type
The Boston Globe reports that Sargent Shriver has sold his memoirs to HarperCollins. Boston literary agent Lane Zachary of the Zachary Shuster agency reported that she signed the “solid six-figure deal” for the book after two days of meetings last August at the Kennedy Foundation in New York with interested bidders. The book, which will focus on Shriver’s life with the Kennedy family and his work starting the Peace Corps, is to be co-written by Scott Stossel, executive editor of American Prospect.
Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala (1991–93), author of the award winning The River of Lost Voices, published a short story “The Bribe” in the September issue of The Sun magazine. Last month, Brazaitis sold his first novel, a thriller set in Guatemala. It will be published in the year 2000.
A novel Andes Rising by James Munves, not an RPCV, has as its focus a middle-aged physicist, sickened by his work on nuclear weapons, who joins the Peace Corps in Colombia and mysteriously disappears there.
The Boston Globe carried a commentary on July 5, 1999 written by George H. Rosen (Kenya 1968–70) who is now a freelance writer. Rosen remembers fondly a pair of soft and comfortable shoes of roughed-out leather and crepe rubber made in a small factory outside Nairobi by the Bata Company. When he spotted Bata “safari boots” being sold by a US mail-order catalog, he ordered two pairs. “ I shouldn’t need shoes to remember Africa,” he writes. “Without them I will not lose the memory of the 23-year-old I was.” His new Bata “safari boots,” however, give “a certain lilt to my stride to know that I’m walking both on a rainy May afternoon along the North Atlantic coast and, seven times zones and half a lifetime away, walking up a red-dirt cowpath to Abothuguchi Secondary School. With every step I take, I am tying my life together.”
Columnist Dave Newhouse cites Craig J. Carrozzi's (Colombia 1978–80) new book, City ’Scapes in a May 17th column published in half-a-dozen California newspapers. Newhouse writes, “The book’s strength is its timeless ballpark banter, especially the verbal territorial battles between Dodgers and Giants fans. Carrozzi really brings the characters to life.”
Paul Eggers’ (Malaysia 1976–78) debut novel Saviors was selected by Barnes and Nobel for their Winter 1999 Discover Great New Writers program. Eggers has published stories in Granta, The Quarterly, The Sonora Review, Northwest Review and the William and Mary Review. Currently, he teaches in the English Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Saviors
Publishers Weekly in its February 1, 1999, review of Jeffrey Taylor’s (Morocco 1988-90) Siberian Dawn: A Journey Across the New Russia writes, “Anyone seeking an understanding of post-Soviet Russia that goes beyond the dull CNN cliched fade-out of a Lenin monument standing before a McDonald’s will be mesmerized by this account of an American’s overland journey from Magadan to Warsaw.”
Tah Mahal: Autobiography of a Bluesman by Tah Mahal and Stephen Foehr (Ethiopia 1965–66) is due out shortly from Sanctuary Publishing in London.
Sarah Grossman (Paraguay 1983–85) has an essay in the anthology Lesbian Travels: A Literary Companion published by Whereabouts Press. The essay is entitled “Adios Paraguay” and is about her Peace Corps service there. The collection of essays was nominated for best lesbian non-fiction by the American Library Awards in 1998.
Paul Karrer (Western Samoa 1978–80) recently has had three short stories published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. This series sells one million copies per book.
   He also won 1st place in the “Round Table Pizza Love to a Pizza Poem” contest beating out 5,000 other entries. The prize: 40 pizzas, a Round Table T-shirt and the opportunity to read his poem on KDON radio, which, he reports, made him a hero to his fifth-grade class. Paul’s winning poem:

     Love Poem To A Pizza

The Little Angel shot me through
I’ve contracted “PIZZAFLU.”

My mouth does water my head does sweat
Get me to a hospital if . . .Pizza I don’t get.

Pineapple, sausage, pizza pie,
That Cupid is a nasty guy.

Larry Grobel (Ghana 1968–71) interviewed Governor Jesse Ventura of Minnesota for the November issue of Playboy Magazine. Grobel spent ten hours with Ventura, who he found to be engaging and likeable.
     Grobel is author of The Houstons, the 1989 biography of John Huston published by Macmillan. A long time interviewer for Playboy, Grobel has in the past interviewed Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton, Al Pacino, among others.
Plainsong by Kent Haruf (Turkey 1965–67) is the hot book of the fall. A * (star) review in Publishers Weekly in early August raved about the novel, “Haruf's descriptions of rural existence are a richly nuanced mixture of stark details and poetic evocations of the natural world.”
     Newsweek magazine’s review on October 4th reports that the publisher (Knopf) sales reps have been talking about the book nonstop. Haruf, who for the last nine years has been teaching English at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, is, according to Newsweek, pleased by the reception, but he says, “I hadn't published a book for, what, eight or nine years. I really had no clue about the quality of the book. I thought it was OK . . . as good as I could make it.”
     On Sunday, October 3th the New York Times Book Section reviewed the novel and summed up, “Haruf has made a novel so foursquare, so delicate and lovely, that it has the power to exalt the reader.”
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