Literary Type — July 2005

Tony D’Souza’s (Cote D’Ivoire 2000–02, Madagascar 2002–03) forthcoming Whiteman is an extraordinary novel about a maverick American relief worker deep in the West African bush. Although funding for his official mandate has been cut off, Jack Diaz refuses to leave his post, a Muslim village in the Ivory Coast, as Christians and Muslims square off for war. Against a backdrop of bloody sectarian conflict and vibrant African life, Jack and his village guardian, Mamadou, learn that hate knows no color, that true heroism waits for us where we least expect it.
     Tony D’Souza was born and raised in Chicago, served a year and a half in Cote D’Ivoire (until the evacuation in 2002.) He then served six months in Madagascar. His fiction has been published in Stand, The Black Warrior Review, The Literary Review, and elsewhere, and chapters of Whiteman are forthcoming in The New Yorker (Sept), Tin House, and Playboy. Tony’s mother, also was a PCV, serving in India from 1966–68.

Karin Muller’s (Philippines 1987–89) new book Japanland: A Year in Search of Wa will be published by Rodale Press in October 2005. Her four-hour documentary series on Japan will air on public television also in the fall. Her previous documentaries, Hitchhiking Vietnam and Along the Inca Road, premiered in 1998 (on PBS) and 2000 (on the National Geographic Channel and MSNBC), respectively. Muller is an expert lecturer on Japan for the National Geographic Society, and her writing appears in National Geographic and Traveler magazines. She appears also on Marketplace and other National Public Radio broadcast. Karin lives now in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Clover Park Press announces that Last Moon Dancing: A Memoir of Love and Real Life in Africa, by Monique Maria Schmidt (Benin 1998–2000), has been chosen as the December selection of the Pulpwood Queens book clubs (as seen on Good Morning America and Oprah). The “tiara wearing and book sharing” Pulpwood Queens currently have 65 clubs with more than 1,000 members in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Monique will spend two days in December meeting with the Queens during their annual holiday gathering. Last Moon Dancing is the first Peace Corps book to become a club selection. The deal was brokered by publisher Geraldine Kennedy (Liberia 1962–64).

Christopher Hitchens, columnist for Vanity Fair, in a review of George Packer’s (Togo 1982-84) book on Iraq, The Assassins’ Gatewrites due in October: “His [Packer’s] book rests on three main pillars: analysis of the intellectual origins of the Iraq war, summary of the political argument that preceded and then led to it, and firsthand description of the consequences on the ground. In each capacity, Packer shows himself once more to be the best chronicler, apart perhaps from John Burns of the New York Times, that the conflict has produced . . .. The Iraq debate has long needed someone who is both tough-minded enough, and sufficiently sensitive, to register all its complexities. In George Packer’s work, this need is answered.”

Another West African RPCV Mary-Ann Tirone Smith (Cameroon 1965–67) has sold her memoir, Girls of Tender Age to Simon & Schuster. One of the photos in the book is a group shot of Mary-Ann and her students in front of the Buea Nursery School, West Cameroon, circa 1966. The book will be published in January. S&S also purchased the audio rights to the book.

A review in the influential Booklist of Laurence Leamer’s (Nepal 1965–67) Fantastic: The Life of Arnold Schwarzenegger says, “Although Schwarzenegger granted Leamer an interview, this is not an authorized work. Nor is it a wrecking ball of dishing . . .. Leamer skillfully sails between the idolaters and the iconoclasts, heading toward the multitude of readers interested in Arnold’s character and life.”

John Sherman (Nigeria 1966–67; Malawi 1967–68) has received a $7,500 Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis, funded by The Lilly Endowment, Inc., to be used to fund a return trip to Nigeria for research, lectures, book signings, photo shoots, and other activities associated with his 2002 book, War Stories: A Memoir of Nigeria and Biafra. The book is based on a diary he kept while working with the International Committee of the Red Cross during the Nigerian Civil War. (After being evacuated from Nigeria because of the war, he spent the next year as a PCV in Malawi, then returned to Nigeria to work with the Red Cross in 1968–69).

Charlene C. Duline (Peru 1964–66) is seeking submissions from minority RPCVs on their experiences as a minority in host country for a proposed anthology. No word limit. Please send to diversitybook@earthlink.net.

Craig Carrozzi (Colombia 1978-80), author of The Curse of Chief Tenaya, and an active proponent of the gathering multitudes in favor of restoring the Hetch Hetchy Valley and keeping the O'Shaugnessey Dam in place, has been active on radio and television in the San Francisco area.

A short story entitled “Whack a Cracker Upside the Head” written by Jason Sanford (Thailand 1994–96) has won the hypnologic 2.1 writing contest at Fiction Warehouse. The story received the second most number of public votes and was selected as the winner by the contest judge. The story can be checked out at http://www.fictionwarehouse.com. The spring 2005 issue of storySouth, a magazine edited by Jason, is now online at www.storysouth.com.

Fresh California Oranges and Other True Life Stories, edited by Frances Lief Neer, has published pieces by two Peace Corps writers. One by Don Christians (PC Staff/Ethiopia 1967–69, Dominican Republic 1970–72), current host of “Turning Pages,” a weekly radio program on KWMR in Pt, Reyes Station Ca. Paul Karrer (Western.Samoa 1978–80), author of six stories in the Chicken Soup series. Paul has three stories in this collection: “Long Lasting Lunch,” “Kimchee Tales” and “Vegetable or Fruit.”

“L’Opera de Monsieur Jean” (inspired by “La Maison de Fantaisie”) written by Katherine Jamieson (Guyana 1996–98) won honorable mention in the inaugural Telltale Press competition. It can be found at: Telltalepress.net/winners0705/honorable1.html
The stories in the competition had to be 2000 or fewer words and include pre-set characters and settings.

The Caddie Who Knew Ben Hogan, by John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962–64), is the story of one summer afternoon in 1946 when Hogan changed the lives of a beautiful girl, a young golfing phenomenon, and the 14-year-old caddie who carried his bag. The novel will be published in the spring 2006 by St. Martin’s Press. Coyne was represented by John Silbersack, one of our “Friendly Agents” who also is the agent for two other RPCV writers.