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Peace Corps Authors Bibliography

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Find books in the Library of Congress Collections by 200 authors who served in the Peace Corps.

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Kaldi, Leita (Senegal, 1993–96).

In the Valley of Atibon. Foreword by Bob Shacochis. 1st Peace Corps Writers edition. Oakland, California: Peace Corps Writers, 2012. Library of Congress Permalink:

Publisher’s description: “In Leita Kaldi’s memoir, In the Valley of Atibon, she chronicles her experiences as a middle-aged white woman who goes to Haiti filled with good intentions to manage Hôpital Albert Schweitzer and its community development program. What unfolds for her, however, is a hell filled with young revolutionaires and vagabons who threaten her life, and the very existence of the hospital and the program. Prompted by these experiences she delves into the mysteries of Voudou, and learns first-hand about the undercurrent of terror that drives rural Haitians. In contrast with numerous shocking incidents that occurred during her five years in Haiti, Kaldi also tells of tender adventures of her daily life, and of being inspired and comforted by many of the Haitians with whom she works — the doctors, nurses, agronomists, her housemaid, and others who teach her surprising lessons in dignity, faith and forgiveness. Also providing joyful respite are visits from Kaldi’s son that culminate with his marrying a woman of the Haitian elite class, which provides a keyhole for Kaldi through which she observes the dynamics of class and prejudice among the layers of Haitian society. Entwined with her story, Kaldi narrates the uplifting story of Dr. Larimer Mellon, and his wife, Gwen Grant Mellon, who founded the hospital in 1956 and spent their lives serving people in the Valley. Theirs too was an experience fraught with problems that demanded their courage, resourcefulness and dedication to the Haitian people.”

Kempers, Anne Grimshaw (Zaire, 1976–78).

Heart of Lightness: Experiences of a Peace Corps Volunteer in Africa. Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Peter E. Randall, 1993. Library of Congress Permalink:

Publisher’s description: “Mother of four and a teacher of French for twenty years, author Kempers had an experience different from that of the majority of (Peace Corps) Volunteers. Her “totally positive” tour of duty also contrasts sharply with Joseph Conrad’s grim tale of the Congo, Heart of Darkness. Assigned to a teachers college to teach English and language teaching methods to mature students, she lived in a large city located at a relatively high altitude with consequent temperate climate. She enjoyed good health and many modern conveniences. This was not the situation of most volunteers, who lived in rural settlements helping villagers with agricultural, sanitary or domestic projects.”

Kennedy, Geraldine, ed. (Liberia, 1962–64).

From the Center of the Earth: Stories Out of the Peace Corps. Santa Monica, California: Clover Park Press, 1991. Library of Congress Permalink:

Subject: This is a collection of 13 stories written by former Peace Corps volunteers and mostly based in Africa.

Harmattan: A Journey Across the Sahara. Santa Monica, California: Clover Park Press, 1994. Library of Congress Permalink:

Award: RPCV Writers & Readers’ Paul Cowan Nonfiction Award, 1995

Subject: This is a Peace Corps teacher’s account of her travels in the Sahara from Liberia to Algeria with four other Peace Corps women.

Kendall, Laurel (Korea, 1970–71).

Shamans, housewives, and other restless spirits: Women in Korean ritual life. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1985. Library of Congress Permalink:

Author’s description: “This is an ethnography of Korean women’s ritual realm...the rites that demarcate, the supernatural beings who inhabit it, and the shamans who diagnose its vicissitudes and heal its ills. The rituals women perform in public and private, alone or with the help of shamans, reveal a complex system of beliefs and practices encapsulating significant notions of household, family, and kin. Whether as shaman or housewife, Korean women wield positive powers. In cooperation, they perform socially essential ritual work. Their religious activities are a measure of Korea's distinctiveness within the Confucian world. I describe in these pages the system of belief and practice I found among women and shamans in and around Enduring Pine Village, Republic of Korea.”

Khalil, Dawn Stutzman (Botswana, 1990–92).

Letters from Botswana: A Peace Corps Odyssey. Cranston, Rhode Island: Writers’ Collective, 2003. Library of Congress Permalink:

Subject: This is the author’s memoir of her Peace Corps service in Botswana, where her American idealism clashed with the Botswanian way of life.

Kitterman, Barry (Belize, 1976–78).

The Baker’s Boy: A Novel. 1st ed. Dallas, Texas: Southern Methodist University Press, 2008. Library of Congress Permalink:

Publisher’s description: “Set in Central America and in Middle Tennessee, The Baker’s Boy gives us two intertwined stories: In the first, Tanner Johnson, nearing midlife, has left his pregnant wife and taken a job as a baker, working nights, trying to avoid a shadowy presence that haunts him from the past. In the second, Tanner relives his painful experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer in Belize, where he taught at a boys’ reform school nearly a quarter century ago. Haunted by the past, he struggles to find the courage to accept his role as a husband and prospective father.”

Klein, Henry (Ethiopia, 1974–76).

Through Ferrengi Eyes: The Diary of a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia, 1974–1976. 1st ed. Hicksville, New York: Exposition Press, 1979. Library of Congress Permalink:

Subject: This is a memoir of a former Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia, who discusses his service and Ethiopian politics and government, 1974–91.

Klein, Robert (Ghana, 1961–63).

Being First: An Informal History of the Early Peace Corps. Tucson, Arizona: Wheatmark, 2010. Library of Congress Permalink:

Summary: The author, one of the initial Peace Corps volunteers, describes the creation of the Peace Corps and the experiences of the first contingent of volunteer teachers serving in Ghana.

Kleymeyer, Charles D. (Peru, 1966–68).

Padre Sol, Madre Luna: Cuentos del desarrollo de base pluricultural = Inti Tayta, Killa Mamma: Runallaktakunapak Tauka Yachaykuna = Father Sun, Mother Moon: Stories of Pluricultural Grassroots Development. 1st ed. Quito, Ecuador: Abya Yala, 2000. Library of Congress Permalink:

Subject: Fiction related to rural and social conditions in Ecuador, Indians and blacks in Ecuador, popular stories in Ecuadorian literature, and Quechua literature and folklore.

Klobe, Tom (Iran, 1964–66).

A Young American in Iran. 1st Peace Corps Writers edition.    Oakland, California: Peace Corps Writers, 2014. Library of Congress Permalink:

Publisher’s description: “In November 1963, a bright Hawaiian morning is shattered by news of the assassination of the President. This marks the beginning of a journey to a remote Iranian village where a young American Peace Corps Volunteer sets out with rebellious tenacity to do what is right, unaware of America’s loss of innocence — and his own. From a youthful determination to perpetuate Kennedy’s legacy, to coping with the reality of America’s faults and ambitions, to grappling with unfamiliar customs and languages, to discovering the friendship and love of Iranians, Tom Klobe discovers that being “Tom of Iran” is as fulfilling as being “American Tom.””

Kluge, Paul F. (Micronesia, 1967–69).

The Edge of Paradise: America in Micronesia. 1st ed. New York: Random House, 1991. Library of Congress Permalink:

Award: RPCV Writers & Readers’ Paul Cowan Nonfiction Award, 1992

Publisher’s description: “In 1967 the Peace Corps sent P. F. Kluge to paradise—or so the American possessions in Micronesia seemed. His assignment was as noble as it was adventurous: to help the people of those half-forgotten Pacific islands move from old to new, so that paradise would have prosperity and freedom as well as physical beauty. He immersed himself in the lives of the diverse peoples of the islands. He composed speeches for their leaders. He wrote a stirring manifesto that became the Preamble to the Constitution of Micronesia. He began a friendship with a man who would one day be president of Palau. And then, a generation later, P. F. Kluge went back…. The Edge of Paradise shows the impact and ironies of America’s presence in an undeveloped part of the world, how perhaps there’s no way ‘a big place can touch a little one without harming it.’”

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