How does Fishpond Work?

Shop over 1.5 Million Toys in our Huge New Range

Living on the Edge

The preface from "Living on the Edge: Fiction by Peace Corps Writers"
Writers from the Peace Corps by John Coyne
For nearly four decades, Peace Corps writers have been going back, at least on paper, to the countries of their volunteer assignments. In novels, short stories, poetry and essays, Volunteers have written about their expatriate experiences in the developing countries of the world. Their Peace Corps experience has been a source of material, a creative impulse. For many it has become their literary territory.
Bob Shacochis, who was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the eastern Caribbean islands where his award winning collection of stories, Easy in the Islands, is set, makes the point that Peace Corps writers, "are descendants of Joseph Conrad, Mark Twain, George Orwell, Graham Greene, Somerset Maugham, Ernest Hemingway, and scores of other men and women, expatriates and travel writers and wanderers, who have enriched our domestic literature with the spices of Cathay, who have tried to communicate the 'exotic' as a relative, rather than an absolute quality of humanity."
Shacochis is not alone in this view. Short story writer Eileen Drew, winner of the 1989 Milkweed Prize and a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa, adds "I think we belong to a large bunch of authors writing across cultures, who grow out of a real tradition of expatriate or colonial writing that includes Conrad, E.M. Forster, as well as Paul Bowles and V.S. Naipaul, and the voices of minority backgrounds from Toni Morrison and Alice Walker, to newer writers like Gish Jen, Amy Tan, Faye Ng, Susan Straight."
Drew goes on to make the point that writers with a Peace Corps experience "bring the outsider'sperspective, which we've learned overseas, to bear on the U.S. We are not the only writers to have done this, but because of the nature of our material, it's something we can't not do."
Since 1961, over 150,000 Americans have served as Peace Corps Volunteers. Unlike those who choose the expatriate life, Volunteers don't go to the ends of the earth to escape American civilization or, for that matter, to make money from the labor of others. They go to jobs that take them away from embassies, first-class hote
Product Details

About the Author

John Coyne was with the first group of Volunteers to Ethiopia and taught English in Addis Ababa. Later he was an Associate Peace Corps Director in Ethiopia and the Regional Manager of the New York Peace Corps Office. He has published eight novels and edited, among other books, Going Up Country: Travel Essays by Peace Corps Writers. In 1989 he founded RPCV Writers & Readers, a newsletter for and about Peace Corps volunteers.


"For anyone interested in the US and its place in the world, this collection will provide a good picture of diplomacy on a personal scale." -Kirkus Reviews| "In this unique short story collection ... myriad facets of Peace Corps life and the culture of diverse lands are examined ... [the authors] get to the heart of the human endeavor as they write about language, food, custom, social and familial politics, racial differences, sexual decorum, violence and disease as well as instances of deep confusion and transcendent communion." -Donna Seaman, ALA Booklist |"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 ... A terrific idea; highly recommended wherever good literature is read." -Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

Look for similar items by category
How Fishpond Works
Fishpond works with suppliers all over the world to bring you a huge selection of products, really great prices, and delivery included on over 25 million products that we sell. We do our best every day to make Fishpond an awesome place for customers to shop and get what they want — all at the best prices online.
Webmasters, Bloggers & Website Owners
You can earn a 5% commission by selling Living on the Edge: Fiction by Peace Corps Writers on your website. It's easy to get started - we will give you example code. After you're set-up, your website can earn you money while you work, play or even sleep! You should start right now!
Authors / Publishers
Are you the Author or Publisher of a book? Or the manufacturer of one of the millions of products that we sell. You can improve sales and grow your revenue by submitting additional information on this title. The better the information we have about a product, the more we will sell!
Item ships from and is sold by, Inc.
Back to top