Living on the Edge: Fiction by Peace Corps WritersJohn Givens (K-3) (1999)

From Publishers Weekly
Seventeen authorsAsome celebratedAwho served in the Peace Corps at various times over the last three decades offer, in these unusual, enlightening tales, a startling look into the mostly Third World locales they grew to know. The authors' backgrounds and subject matter varies widely, though the themes most often converge in the clash between Western and native cultural ways. Paul Theroux, who served in Malawi in 1963, starts off the collection with the magnificently taut "White Lies," about a horrific parasitic rash set upon a philandering foreigner by his scorned African lover. Technical writer Leslie Simmonds Ekstom's (Nigeria, 1963-65) "On Sunday There Might Be Americans" is a powerfully imagined narrative about an aboriginal boy's scrounging for subsistence in the shadow of rich white interlopers. Marnie Mueller (Ecuador, 1963-65), an NBA winner for her novel Green Fires, explores in her story "Exile" the possibility of cross-cultural romance between an exiled Argentine writer and an American political activist living in Mexico City. Each short fiction is introduced by the author's explanation, "How I Came to Write This Story," often based on true experience or impression, followed by a brief biography. While these details are interesting, at times they may dilute the enjoyment of the stories as vivid creations in their own right. Other authors represented include editor Coyne (Ethiopia, 1962-64), who founded a newsletter for and about Peace Corps writers, and novelist Norman Rush (Botswana, 1978-1993).
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
Sick and tired of the lull in contemporary fiction today, with the same old stories told over and over with the same old characters and settings and far too much focused narcissistically on the petty crises of America's overexposed middle class? Then pick up this anthology, a wonderful collection of stories that take you from Africa to South America to Asia while probing important issues of place, identity, and tension in a world grown closer but still suffering from a huge gap between have and have-not nations. And who better to write such stories than Peace Corps volunteers, bright and idealistic Americans who have gone abroad and come back with radically adjusted vision? The stories range widely, from Paul Theroux's "White Lies," a stinging story of one young man's comeuppance in Africa, to Kathleen Coskran's "Sun," which reveals the dangers inherent in reaching across the cultural divide, to Terry Marshall's witty "American Model," which pokes fun at naive American attitudes about "natives." There doesn't seem to be a clunker in the bunch. A terrific idea; highly recommended wherever good literature is read.ABarbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hushion House (April 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 1880684578

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    4. 2019/03/13 09:03
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