Peace Corps Writers
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Literary Type
Karen Lynn Williams (Malawi 1980–83) and Catherine Stock will be teaching a workshop in Rignac, France on Writing for Children next summer. The 2-week course will run from July 2 –16, 2005 and will cover all aspects of writing and illustrating books for children. The course fee is $600 for the two weeks. Housing in nearby rustic farm houses and meals will cost approximately $600. An early registration fee of $150 (toward the cost of the course) is necessary so that rooms can be reserved in the area.
     Karen and Catherine have collaborated on a number of picture books, including the award-winning Galimoto, as well as Painted Dreams and Tap-Tap. Karen wrote When Africa Was Home based on her experiences in the Peace Corps with her husband and two children. They have also published separately picture books, chapter books and young adult novels.
     For more information check www.CatherineStock.com, www.KarenLynnWilliams.com or contact Karen at Williams.Writes@verizon.net or 412/422-1165.

Rod and Kim Rylander (Philippines 1988–90) had an article about aquaculture and their Peace Corps experience in the May 2003 issue of Permaculture Activist. Permaculture Activist is published by Peter Bane and the website is: www.PermacultureActivist.net.
    Imagine a House The winner of the Peace Corps Writers Award for Children’s Books for 2004, Imagine a House: A Journey to Fascinating Houses Around the World written and published by Angela Gustafson (Dominican Republic 1994–96), earned three national awards at the publishing industry's annual conference, BookExpo America, that took place in Chicago in June:
  • ForeWord Magazine: Winner for Juvenile Nonfiction
  • Independent Publisher Award: Winner for Multicultural Nonfiction (Juvenile/Young Adult)
  • Benjamin Franklin Award: Finalist (one of three) for Juvenile/Young Adult Nonfiction
John Dwyer (Guatemala 1991–92) has recently managed camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Herat, Afghanistan, and has written a fascinating article about the organizational structure of the camps, as well as his experiences. The pieces appear on www.Szirine.com. (Scroll down the front page to locate the article.)
“The Plain Truth,” a profile of Kent Haruf (Turkey 1965–67) appears in the July-August, 2004 Poets & Writers magazine. The piece is written by Michael McGregor, and in it Haruf discusses his early years as a writer and the difficulties he had getting into print.
Jason Sanford (Thailand 1994–96) has an amusing essay on his Peace Corps service, “Bringing Peace to Thailand,” at the U.K. online travel magazine, Travelmag. The link is:
www.travelmag.co.uk/article_630.shtml
Nita Noveno (Cameroon 1988–90) was a teacher in the NYC public schools for ten years and continues to mentor new teachers in the Peace Corps Fellows Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a graduate of the MFA Creative Writing Program at The New School and is currently working on a family memoir. She is also the organizer of Sundaysalon, a writing group, in New York City. Check it out at sundaysalon.com.
Eric Lax (Micronesia 1966–68) was profiled in the Los Angels Times on June 12, 2004. Lax, author of The Mold in Dr. Florey’s Coat says in the article that he started his career as a writer in Micronesia when he was 24. His recent book took four years to write, a “college education” he sums up. Lax is one of many, many first class RPCVs who served in Micronesia. In fact, it is my guess that Micronesia has produced the most (and perhaps the best) Peace Corps writers. Was it the sand, water, or the isolated islands?
This Is Not Civilization In a review in the Sunday book section of The New York Times, Christopher Buckley wrote of a first novel, “As anti-Americanism reaches dizzying new heights, an undeniable achievement for a president who campaigned on being ‘a uniter, not a divider,’ it seems like a ripe time for a novel about young Americans aboard in the world — in this case, really abroad.” The novel in question (and praised by Buckley) is by Robert Rosenberg (Kyrgyzstan 1994–96) and entitled This Is Not Civilization.  Later in the month the Los Angeles Times book reviewer Mark Rozzo would write: “[It] is a brave adventure into the heart of a new world connected by discount air fare, e-mail, charity organizations and the unquenchable thirst for novelty . . . . Rosenberg — who based this novel on his own hitch with the Peace Corps — as created a sparkling new take on Jorge Luis Borges’ map drawn to the exact scale of the actual world, in which every place — and person — is at once at our fingertips and yet hopelessly out of reach.”
Richard Lipez (Ethiopia 1962–64) has sold Third Man Out, one of the private eye novels he writes under the name Richard Stevenson, to Here!TV, a gay-oriented cable network that will go on the air October 1. Here!TV has optioned the seven other books in the series and has tentative plans to film them all. The Third Man Out four-part miniseries will be shot in Vancouver this fall and will air next year. Here!TV is a joint venture between Canadian cable programmers and Regency Entertainment, producer of such films as “Gods and Monsters.” Lipez said “no vast amount of cash” came his way, but the deal may sell books. Here!TV plans to cast a “name” as Don Strachey, Lipez's detective. Lipez said someone close to the production told him this may mean “a faded TV star.”
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