The Peace Corps and Returned Peace Corps writing community at Peacecorpsworldwide is seeking nominations for favorite books published in 2015 written by a PCV, RPCV or Peace Corps Staff. I’ve compiled a partial list of the books released last year here, and welcome feedback on
additional titles, reviews, and links.
Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award
First given in 1990, the Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award was named to honor Paul Cowan, a Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Ecuador. Cowan wrote The Making of An Un-American about his experiences as a Volunteer in Latin America in the sixties. A longtime activist and political writer for The Village Voice, Cowan died of leukemia in 1988.
Maria Thomas Fiction Award
The Maria Thomas Fiction Award is named after the novelist Maria Thomas [Roberta Worrick (Ethiopia 1971-73)] who was the author of a well-reviewed novel and two collections of short stories all set in Africa. She lost her life in August, 1989, while working in Ethiopia for a relief agency. She went down in the plane crash that killed Congressman Mickey Leland of Texas.
Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Memoir Award
In 1992, The Peace Corps Experience Award was initiated. It is presented annually to a Peace Corps Volunteer or staff member, past or present for the best memoir. In 1997, this award was renamed to honor Moritz Thomsen (Ecuador 1965-67) whose Living Poor has been widely cited as an outstanding telling of the essence of the Peace Corps experience.
Other categories include awards for Outstanding Poetry Book, Best Travel Writing, Best Children’s Book, Best Photography Book, and the Editors Special Award for a writer in our community who has published a significant book that does not fit into any of our other awards categories, but deserves recognition. Nomination(s) should be sent to John Coyne at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Awards will be announced at the NPCA Conference in September in Washington, D.C.