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EGO, a new magazine, is seralizing the novel Catch a Fallen Star by Larry Grobel (Ghana 1968–71). The first issue of EGO, which came out in May, also has three other pieces by Grobel: an interview with Joyce Carol Oates on Marilyn Monroe; a chapter from his book, Talking with Michener, and a profile on ESPN Sports host Roy Firestone. (To subscribe to EGO, call 1.888.221.8986.)
     Grobel’s book The Hustons also was just reissued in May by Cooper Square Press. The revised edition has a new chapter detailing what has happened with the family since Huston’s death in 1987. This coming August, Da Capo Press will reissue his book, Conversations with Capote. And in September, Da Capo will publish Above the Line: Conversations about the Movies, his first collection of interviews with people in the movie industry. In the spring of 2001, DaCapo will publish Endangered Species, his collection of interviews with writers. Grobel has been a long time interviewer for Playboy Magazine.
The Travel Video Cyberstone is a new business started by Toya Simmons (Ecuador 1994-96). Travel Video Cyberstone specializes in the sale of travel videos. These travel videos rrepresent popular as well as off the beaten path destinations worldwide. People use these tapes to familiarize themselves about future destinations. To learn more about what Toya is doing, call 312.214.3140 or check out her website at: www.travelvideocyberstore.com.
Brian Boyle (Nigeria 1963-64) emailed us about the Peace Corps examination given in the early days of the agency excerpts of which we published in the May, 2000 issue of PeaceCorpsWriters.org. Brian wrote:

    I remember taking the exam in 1962. We were told that the test was designed to give a Ph.D. a hard time so not to be discouraged. Thankfully, there appeared to be no pass/fall line. We never were given our grades on these tests.
         Then, in September 1962, I started training for the Peace Corps at Columbia Teachers College in New York. I do remember that during training we were given approximately 60 hours of psychology testing. We were told that we were the guinea pigs for the Peace Corps and the ‘model volunteer’ would be molded from our psychological profiles. Well, despite all of the obstacles, we completed our training and arrived in Nigeria in January 1963.

Festival of Conception is the third in a trilogy of South American adventure travel writing by Craig Carrozzi (Colombia 1978–80). Southern Trails Press is selling Festival of Conception, The Road to El Dorado, and Wedding of the Waters, all written by Craig, as a South American adventure travel trilogy. The collection sells for $30, plus $5 shipping. To order books, write to: Southern Trails, 529 Brussels Street, San Francisco, California 94134. Phone/Fax: 415.467.8710.
More advance praise for the novel Louisa by Simone Zelitch (Hungary 1991–93) to be published in September by Putnam. Pearl Abraham, author of The Romance Reader, writes, “I admire Simone Zelitch’s ability to capture the essence of life in pre-and mid-Holocaust Europe.”
     Kitty McVitty of Book Mart in Stonington, Connecticut writes, “I read every word with real admiration for the author and deep interest in the unfolding story as well as the various theme threads: innocence v. responsibility, the politics of race and belonging. I liked [the heroine] in spite of her self — ironic, detached, skeptical, enduring. What a life — but saved by love!”
     To top that off, both Publishers Weekly and Kirkus have given starred reviews to Simone’s first novel.
Joel Waters (Lithuania 1993–95) writes that the President of Estonian, Lennart Meri, has announced his financial support of “Freedom’s Ring,” a feature film currently in development. The “Christmas Bell,” as we called the story in our May issue, tells the story of Douglas Wells (Estonia 1992–96) unearthing a lost national treasure, the Emmaste Church bell. At the time of the discovery President Meri publicly honored Wells and made a personal donation of one month’s salary toward the Bell’s restoration. Today he is making the same monetary contribution toward the production of “Freedom’s Ring.” Critical Mass Films, LLC, is seeking investors and strategic partnerships for his film project.
Roland Merullo (Micronesia 1979–80) author of three novels, one of which, Leaving Lospapas, was based on his Peace Corps experience has a non-fiction book, Passion for Golf: A Golfer’s Quest for Meaning, coming from The Lyons Press in November. In high school and college Merullo played golf on public courses and now in his early forties has returned to the game, playing regularly near his home in Williamsburg, Massachusetts.
Fodderwing, a forum for Mid-Atlantic writers and poets, published in their 2000 issue a long essay by Christopher Conlon (Botswana 1988–90) entitled “Proust in Africa: A Peace Corps Volunteer Remembers Remembrance of Things Past.” A copy is obtainable for $4 (including S&H). Send to IM Press, P.O. Box 5346, Takoma Park, Maryland 20913-5346; email: efaine@yahoo.com.
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