Library of Congress

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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Larson, Charles R. (Nigeria, 1962–64).

The Insect Colony: A Novel. 1st ed. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1978. Library of Congress Permalink:

Publisher’s summary: “Set in West Africa at the end of the 1960s and across the border from the war in Biafra, this is an arresting novel of sexual obsession, self-deception, and self-discovery.”

The Ordeal of the African Writer. London; New York: Zed Books, 2001. Library of Congress Permalink:

Publisher’s description: “This book demonstrates how only a small number of African writers—like Chinua Achebe, Ben Okri, Nuruddin Farah, and Wole Soyinka—have become known outside of their own continent. It also details the enormous obstacles they face within Africa to get their work published, let alone to support themselves financially from their writing. Charles R. Larson combines writers’ own testimony, pen portraits of their lives, and factual investigation to explore the full dimensions of this problem.”

Lefcourt, Peter (Togo, 1962–64).

The Deal: A Novel. 1st ed. New York: Random House, 1991. Library of Congress Permalink:

Wikipedia summary: “Peter Lefcourt’s experiences working behind the scenes in Hollywood have inspired much of his fiction. Actor William H. Macy adapted The Deal, one of Lefcourt’s numerous satirical novels, for the screen, and it debuted at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. It is about a down-and-out movie producer whose leading man is kidnapped from the set during filming.”

Levitt, Leonard (Tanzania, 1963–65).

An African Season. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1967. Library of Congress Permalink:

Publisher’s summary: “An irreverent account of the author’s experiences as a Jewish-American Peace Corps volunteer serving in rural China describes his observations about the lives of China’s interior populations and their complex relationships with local traditions and the rapid changes of modernization.”

Lihosit, Lawrence F. (Honduras, 1975–77).

Peace Corps Chronology, 1961–2010. 2nd ed. New York: iUniverse, 2011. Library of Congress Permalink:

Publisher’s summary: “Useful for anyone interested in the Peace Corps, this easy-to-read book includes all notable activities related to America’s most iconic program. It describes the first half century of service during which more than 200,000 Americans volunteered to work in 139 countries. Inspired by John F. Kennedy’s inaugural call—“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”— volunteers from all 50 states traveled to tropical cloud forests, savannahs, prairies, deserts and frigid mountainous steppes to learn a new language and lend a hand.”

Limbert, John W. (Iran, 1964–66).

with Iran: Wrestling the Ghosts of History. Washington, DC: U.S. Institute of Peace Press, 2009. Library of Congress Permalink:

Publisher’s description: “Challenges both Americans and Iranians to end decades of mutually hostile mythmaking. This title outlines 14 principles to guide the American who finds himself in a negotiation-commercial, political, or other—with an Iranian counterpart. It is suitable for those interested in understanding US-Iranian history and relations.”

Linden, Anne Bates (Ukraine, 1992–95).

Assumptions and Misunderstandings: Memoir of an Unwitting Spy. Ivano-Frankivsk: Misto NV, 2006. Library of Congress Permalink:

Publisher’s description: “Assumptions and Misunderstandings is a memoir based strictly on letters written family and friends between November 15, 1992, and February 1, 1994, about the first 15 months of my stint as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine. The end of central planning, an annual inflation rate of 2000 percent, and reform that was “virtually nonexistent” made living there both incredibly difficult and fascinating.”

Lorentz, John H. (Iran, 1962–64).

Historical Dictionary of Iran. 2nd ed. Lanham, Maryland, Scarecrow Press, 2007. Library of Congress Permalink:

Publisher’s description: “Iran is a country with a deep and complex history. Over several thousand years, Iran has been the source of numerous creative contributions to the spiritual and literary world, and the site of many remarkable manifestations of material culture. The special place that Iran has come to hold in contemporary historical events, most recently as a center state actor in the unfolding and interconnected drama of worldwide nuclear arms proliferation and terrorism, is all the more reason to explore the characters and personality of Iran and Iranians. This second edition of Historical Dictionary of Iran is designed to give the reader a quick and understandable overview of specific events, movements, people, political and social groups, places, and trends. Through its extensive chronology, introduction, bibliography, appendixes, and more than double the number of cross-referenced dictionary entries as in the previous edition, the work allows for considerable exploration of a number of historical and contemporary topics and issues. In particular, the modern period, defined as 1800–present, is covered extensively.”

Lowerre, Susan (Senegal, 1985–87).

Under the Neem Tree. Sag Harbor, New York: Permanent Press, 1991. Library of Congress Permalink:

Subject: This is a Peace Corps volunteer’s anthropological study of her experience living in the Senegalese village of Walli Jalia, its fish culture, social life and customs, and the Fula tribe.

Lowther, Kevin G. (Sierra Leone, 1963–65; Peace Corps/Washington, 1965–68) and C. Payne Lucas.

Keeping Kennedy’s Promise: The Peace Corps, Unmet Hope of the New Frontier. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1978. Library of Congress Permalink:

Publisher’s description: “Special expanded edition of the 1978 Peace Corps classic. Reprinted to mark the Agency’s 40th anniversary.”

Luloff, Joanna (Sri Lanka, 1996–98).

The Beach at Galle Road: Stories of Sri Lanka. 1st ed. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2012. Library of Congress Permalink:

Publisher’s description: “When rumors of civil war between the ruling Sinhalese and the Tamils in the northern sector of Sri Lanka reach those who live in the south, somehow it seems not to be happening in their own country. At least not until Janaki’s sister, Lakshmi—now a refugee whose husband has disappeared—comes back to live with her family. And when Sam, an American Peace Corps worker who boards with Janaki’s family, falls in love with one of his students, a young girl from the north, he, too, becomes acutely aware of the dangers that exist for anyone who gets drawn into the conflict, however marginally. Skillfully weaving together the stories of these and other intersecting lives, The Beach at Galle Road explores themes of memory and identity amid the consequences of the Sri Lankan civil war. From different points of view, across generations and geographies, it pits the destructive power of war against the resilient power of family, individual will, and the act of storytelling itself.”

Luz, Susan [Corry] (Brazil, 1972–75), and Marcus Brotherton.

The Nightingale of Mosul: A Nurse’s Journey of Service, Struggle, and War. New York: Kaplan Publishing, 2010. Library of Congress Permalink:

Publisher’s description: “The true story of a female soldier in Iraq who was awarded the Bronze Star—not for fighting, but for fighting to care. She is today’s Florence Nightingale. At age 56, Susan Luz was deployed to Iraq. By the time she returned home, she had helped save the lives of 30,000 wounded soldiers, contractors, Iraqi civilians, and detainees. But this was not the first time Luz responded to the call of duty: this is the inspirational story of a life dedicated to service and to the ideal of fighting for what truly matters. As a young woman, Luz served in the Peace Corps in Brazil, where she experienced the brutality of poverty and violence. As a public health nurse, she has worked in jails, psychiatric wards, and a violent inner city high school. But nothing prepared her for what she would see in Iraq. Working under constant fire, Luz routinely witnessed the most horrific effects of the war. Her dedication to her job earned her the Bronze Star in honor of her selflessness and the life-saving work she carried out under unfathomably difficult circumstances. Susan Luz is a true hero and her story will resonate in the hearts and minds of readers for generations to come.”

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