Literary Type 1/2004

    Indianapolis Monthly magazine, in its annual “Best of Indianapolis” issue (December 2003), chose War Stories: A Memoir of Nigeria and Biafra by John Sherman (Nigeria 1966–67; Malawi 1967–68; PC staff: W 1970–71, 1975–77; Ghana 1971–73) for the sole recipient of the category, “Book By A Hoosier Author” for 2003. The book details Sherman’s experiences with the Peace Corps and the Red Cross during the Nigerian Civil War in the late 1960s. This book, published by Mesa Verde Press, is available in Nigeria, from Francis Van-Lare Bookshop in Ikeja (a Lagos suburb), and online from them as well at

    Paul Karrer (Western Samoa 1978–80) has two stories in the recently published collection Open My Eyes, Open My Soul. Maya Angelou, Stevie Wonder, Muhamad Ali, among others, are also in the collection. Paul was a Peace Corps Volunteer science teacher in Samoa and has taught in Korea, England, Connecticut and American Samoa. He has published over one-hundred articles and short stories including five in the Chicken Soup series. In the Santa Cruz area he can be heard reading his short stories each month on radio station KUSP (88.9 FM). He currently teaches 5th-graders in Castroville, California and lives in Monterey.

    Peter Hessler (China 1996–98) published a profile of basketball great Yao Ming in the December 1, 2003 issue of The New Yorker. Hessler, who lives in Beijing, writes of Yao Ming’s journey from China to the N.B.A., and back home again after his rookie season with the Houston Rockets.

    Charles Michener (Ethiopia 1962–64), a former senior editor at The New Yorker (and Peter Hessler’s editor there), is now the classical-music columnist for the New York Observer. Michener also had a piece, “The Soul Singer,” in the January 5, 2004 issue of The New Yorker on American mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson.

    David Reene (Poland 1994–96) published two new short stories during 2003 — “Senegalese Sky” appeared in the Spring 2003 issue of the literary magazine Potpourri, and won the Herman B. Swafford prize, Potpourri ’s best short fiction of the year award.

    Noted Washingtonian photographer, Shawn Davis’s (Mali 1996–98; Crisis Corps/Guinea 1999) photo essay on Joseph’s House AIDS Hospice in D.C. was the cover story for the December 12, 2003 issue of Washington City Paper. This January Shawn is in Africa, returning for the first time in five years on a photo assignment. To view his work, go to

    The influence of RPCV writers continues.
         A new book by anthropologist Donna M. Goldstein about the shantytown near Rio de Janeiro entitled, Laughter Out of Place: Race, Class, Violence, and Sexuality in a Rio Shantytown, coming out from the University of California Press’s Public Anthropology series owes its inspiration to Nancy Scheper-Hughes (Brazil 1964–66) a professor of anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of the 1992 book Death Without Weeping: The Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil. Nancy Scheper-Hughes was Donna Goldstein’s dissertation adviser at Berkeley.
         Ms. Goldstein said in the December 12 “Hot Type” column in The Chronicle of Higher Education that, like Scheper-Hughes, she hopes to find an audience beyond the confines of academic anthropology. “At a central level anthropologists do want to communicate about what we’ve learned.”

    Charlene Caprio (Poland 1997–99) invites Peace Corps readers to visit and writers to contribute to her online magazine on cultures and subcultures, Szirine, at Szirine's mission is to bring to the English speaking world cultures and subcultures, and good writing that do not usually receive attention in mass media. Currently, Szirine is being viewed in over 20 countries, and their readership and writing staff continues to expand across borders.
          Writers interested in having work considered for publication should go to Submissions Guidelines. This is a terrific site and a great place to be published on line.

    Christopher Conlon (Botswana 1988–90) has published The Silver Farmer, an “online chapbook” of a 10-poem sequence, all of which are Holocaust-related. You can access a .pdf file of The Silver Farmer at Tamafyhr Mountain Poetry Go to Chapbooks>Christopher Conlon>The Silver Farmer.

    At a time when books aren’t selling (does anyone read anymore?) Sarah Edman’s (Cote D'Ivoire 1998–2000) Nine Hills to Nambonkaha has gone back for a third printing, and continues to sell, her editors says, “at healthy levels.”

    A new YA book, Memories of Sun: Stories of Africa and America, edited by Jane Kurtz has just been published by Greenwillow Books. This collection of 15 stories by American, Africans and African-Americans has two stories by RPCVs. “What I Did on My Summer Safari” by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen (Tanzania 1989–90) and “Into the Maghreb” by Lindsey Clark (Morocco 2002–03).

    Kendra Lachniet (Paraguay 1992–94) wrote an article about her experiences on buses in Paraguay during her Peace Corps service called “Life in the On-Coming Lane.” It is included in the collection published by Travelers' Tales in October 2003 called Hyenas Laughed at Me and Now I Know Why: The Best of Travel Humor and Misadventure.

    Photographer Bill Owens (Jamaica 1964–66), author of Suburbia, Our Kind of People, and Working, is offering a week-long course in “Documentary Photography: The Modern Digital Technique” from May 29–June 5, 2004 at Latitude, a unique cultural center in the idyllic Lot Valley of southwest France. This is not a course for "art" photographers.
         Costs start at $1,000 and include 15 hours of instruction, most meals, lodging, swimming pool, and natural beauty. Details at

    This month both the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Minneapolis Star Tribune announced that Imagine a House: A Journey to Fascinating Houses Around the World  by Angela Gustafson (Dominican Republic 1994–96) has been nominated for a Minnesota Book Award under two categories:  (1) Children's Nonfiction and (2) New Voice. This book for young children is published by Out of the Box Press in Minneapolis. It blends together architecture, people and geography, showcasing twenty-two types of dwellings used by fifteen diverse cultures.