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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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Packer, George (Togo, 1982–83).

The Village of Waiting. 1st Farrar, Straus, Giroux ed. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001. Library of Congress Permalink:

Publisher’s description: “Now restored to print with a new Foreword by Philip Gourevitch and an Afterword by the author, this book is a frank, moving, and vivid account of contemporary life in West Africa. Stationed as a Peace Corps instructor in the village of Lavié (the name means “wait a little more”) in tiny and underdeveloped Togo, Packer reveals his own schooling at the hands of an unforgettable array of townspeople—peasants, chiefs, charlatans, children, market women, cripples, crazies, and those who, having lost or given up much of their traditional identity and fastened their hopes on “development,” find themselves trapped between the familiar repetitions of rural life and the chafing monotony of waiting for change.”

Pastor, Robert A. (Malaysia, 1970–72).

Whirlpool: US Foreign Policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean. 2nd ed. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 2001. Library of Congress Permalink:

Handbook of Latin American Studies annotation: “This second edition of a notable study that first appeared in 1992 provides a detailed overview of the policies of U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, and of the important Congressional role in policy-making. Pastor says developments since 1992 validate his original theses: 1) that the US overemphasizes external threats and underestimates internal difficulties in small Caribbean countries; 2) that the pattern of alternation between intervention and neglect would not necessarily be broken with end of the Cold War; and 3) that the already-established Hemispheric trends toward democracy and free trade are more important than the collapse of the Soviet Union and communism. He advises policy orientations based on multilateralism, defense of democracy, and promotion of free trade.”

Pfunder, Malcolm (Turkey, 1965–67).

Village in the Meadows. Tünel, Istanbul: Çitlembik, 2007. Library of Congress Permalink:

Publisher’s description: Village in the Meadows in the Black Sea region of Turkey was Malcolm Pfunder’s Peace Corps site and home for nearly two years in the 1960s. These memoirs about his time there spring from a desire to share the memorable, often humorous stories of the things that he did, and that happened there. The Peace Corps experience entailed a great deal of time spent outdoors and lots of freedom to experiment, with the vague impetus of “Go forth and be relevant” as encouragement. Pfunder’s narrative of his “wonderful adventure” among the locals of that beautiful mountain village is a sympathetic story of the villagers’ way of life at the time and what he and his site partner Allen did to try to improve it, followed by Pfunder’s interesting account of all the changes he has seen occur in the intervening years on periodic visits back to the village.”

Phoel, Cynthia Morrison (Bulgaria, 1994–96).

Cold Snap: Bulgaria Stories. 1st ed. Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 2010. Library of Congress Permalink:

Award: Winner of the Maria Thomas Fiction Award

Publisher’s description: “As in Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, place is at the center of Cynthia Morrison Phoel’s debut collection of linked stories. Quirky, remote, and agonizingly intimate, the ragged village of Old Mountain is home to a cast of Bulgarian townsfolk who do daily battle with the heat or the bitter cold, with soul-crushing poverty, with petty disagreements among themselves—all the while attempting to adapt to changing times and keep up with their neighbors. Money is tight in this valley of run-down Communist blocks and crumbling plaster houses, but community is tighter. When a largely unemployed father in “A Good Boy” trades his much-needed summer earnings for a hulking satellite dish, everyone knows about it. The same way everyone knows about the shop lady who rests her finger on the scale to drive up the price of cheese in “Galia.” In “Satisfactory Proof,” a budding mathematician completes a prestigious master’s degree in number theory but fails to recognize the patterns of care and compassion everywhere around him. And in the concluding novella, “Cold Snap,” as the town endures freezing temperatures and waits for the central heat to be turned on, the characters we have already met make a satisfying encore appearance—as the brittle cold pushes them to the edge of reason.”

Pope, Carl D. (India, 1968–69).

Sahib: An American Misadventure in India. New York: Liveright Press, 1972. Library of Congress Permalink:

Subject: This is a personal narrative of Peace Corps service in India, apparently involving a birth-control project.

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