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  In the September issue of PeaceCorpsWriters.org
A Writer Writes

Simone Zelitch (Hungary 1991–93) joined the Peace Corps and was sent to Hungary, which, by coincidence, was the setting of her novel-in-progress about a Holocaust survivor and her gentile daughter-in-law. Assigned to the University of Veszprem in western Hungary, Simone taught teachers-in--training,
     That novel, Louisa, her second, is being published this month by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, and has earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist. Such acclaim is a first for a Peace Corps writer. In this month’s “A Writer Writes,” Simone tells how she began her highly praised literary novel.
Letter from Ethiopia by Kathleen Moore Letter Home
We’re in Africa again for our letter home. This issue, it is West Africa, and Joyce Lombari (Chad 1993–95) is writing home after a year in Bessada, Chad. Unlike the last issue’s reserved prose of Kathleen Moore (Ethiopia 1965–67), Joyce wears her heart (and her prose) on her sleeve. This is a tough letter to Mom and Dad and spells out the hard emotions that so many PCVs experience overseas.
Copies of The Peace Corps Reader are available at Bibliofind.com for between $2.50 and $5.00. Peace Corps Trivia
We’ve added a new column to our mix of items this issue. It’s Peace Corps trivia — and hasn’t there been a lot of it over the years? We start with the story of how Vice President Al Gore is linked to the Peace Corps.

Peace Corps History
In the early years of the Peace Corps, before email and desktop publishing, and when the agency was still trying to define what Peace Corps Volunteers “really did,” a series of short monographs were typed up and printed out for the headquarters and overseas staff to read and discuss. The monographs were also circulated on college campuses in an attempt to reveal more about the opportunities and frustrations of Peace Corps life than what appeared in the press. The idea for the monographs was that of Donovan McClure (PC/W 1961–65 ) who came to Washington with Sargent Shriver as the director of Public Affairs and then became Country Director in Sierra Leone. McClure commissioned several Volunteers and staff members to write about the agency. Several of these monographs made it into print in The Peace Corps Reader, a paperback book published in September 1967 and published by Quadrangle Books for the Peace Corps.


Copies of Agents of Change are available at Bibliofind.com for between $14.00 and $25.00.

     However, the majority of the essays were tossed away or left unread in overstuffed desk outboxes. Nevertheless, a few papers became legendary within the agency during those early days. One was written by Meridan Bennett (PC/W 1964–67). Bennett, with David Hapgood (PC/W Evaluation 1964–66), wrote one of the first books that assessed the work of Volunteers. It was entitled, Agents of Change: A Close Look at the Peace Corps, and was published by Little, Brown in 1968. Before that came, Bennett’s “The Real Job of the Peace Corps: One Man’s View” and we are delighted to be publishing it for the first time ever.

So for these articles and more go to the Current Issue.

— John Coyne, editor


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