PCV authors list update: 2017
Compiled by John Krauskopf
Note: This list does not pretend to be comprehensive. It is a list of the published books by Iran RPCVs including, memoir, fiction, academic writing, essays and reference published and unpublished, that have been brought to our attention after we put out the call for authors for the Iran Peace Corps conference/reunion in Austin.
I have found good success in obtaining new or used copies of the privately published and self-published books listed here from . When the listing includes the name of a “Publish on Demand” (POD) source such as Lulu.com, BLURB, iUniverse.com or CreateSpace, visiting the POD company website is a direct way to obtain new copies the author’s book. Several of these publications are also available as an “e-book.” Many of the authors are members of PCIA and have their contact information on the PCIA membership list. Most would welcome contact with an interested reader.
Bangor, Robert. The Burnt City (A Novel of Iran on the Eve of Revolution) Published by IMN (Jay R. Crook). 2011. 514 pages. (This book is adventure fiction, but the context of the Islamic Revolution is accurately portrayed based on the author’s many years of experience in Iran. If this book is ever a movie, it will be rated R.) Robert Bangor is the pen name of Jay R. Crook, former Peace Corps Iran staff member.
Devine, David. Persian Mosaic (Getting Back to Iran after 25 Years) Writers Showcase an imprint of . 2001. 299 pages. (A dual memoir of the author’s days as an Iran PCV paired with a re-visit to his site in Zahedan 25 years later.)
Crook, Jay R. See Bangor, Robert.
Etheridge, John. Shifting Sands, a manuscript pending publication. (An insightful series of tales of maturation and personal development based on the author’s Peace Corps Iran experience in Na’in.) The author has also published Uncharted Waters, AuthorHouse, Bloomington, IN. 2010. 61 pages. This book contains similar introspective and spiritually instructive stories from the author’s experiences in the U.S. and abroad. This book has been translated into Farsi and has enjoyed considerable sales in Iran.
Gray, Arlene Elle. Letters From Iran (Memoirs of a Peace Corps Volunteer 1970-1972). Xlibris Corporation. 2012. 280 pages. Obtain at orders@Xlibris.com, also AbeBooks.com (This book is the transcribed sequential collection of all correspondence to and from the author, a devoted letter writer, covering the two years of her P.C. service. The author has created a primary source document that traces her growing involvement with the culture of Iran and her efforts to adjust to changes in her extensive family support structure, which was then 10,000 miles away.)
Hegland, Mary Elaine, Professor of Anthropology at Santa Clara University. Days of Revolution (Political Unrest in an Iranian Village), Stanford University Press. 2014. 316 pages. (This is an academic study, but for many Iran RPCVs, it will give insight to parts of the culture that they touched but never really understood.)
Hillmann, Michael Craig – Iran RPCV: Professor of Persian Literature and Iranian Culture at the University of Texas at Austin. Hillmann has written many scholarly books and articles including A Lonely Woman: Forugh Farrokhzad and Her Poetry and Iranian Culture: a Persianist View. Hillmann has also written Persian language textbooks published by the Dunwoody Press including Persian Reading and Writing, Persian Newspaper Reader and many more.
Keech, Rea – A Hundred Veils, Real Nice Books, Baltimore, MD, 2015. 310 pages. (An upbeat novel [Boy meets girl; Boy loses girl: Boy gets, etc.] set in Iran with the context informed by the author’s Peace Corps experience. Iran RPCVs will identify with all of the cross-cultural incidents as the story unfolds and also with the classic Persian poetry interpolated into many chapters.)
Klobe, Tom. – A Young American in Iran. A Peace Corps Writers Book, Oakland, CA, 2014. (An Imprint of Peace Corps Worldwide.) 515 pages. (A detailed memoir that is as engrossing as a novel.) Available through Amazon, also available at .
Krauskopf, John. Iran–Stories from the Peace Corps. Lulu.com, 2014. 296 pages. (The book contains more than two-dozen cultural anecdotes and stories from the author’s two years of PCV service and subsequent time as a PC trainer). Available from or from the author or as a thank-you gift for a small donation to the Peace Corps Iran Association.
Lemons, David K. The Crescent, the Sea, & the Long Sand. CreatSpace, 2011. 347 pages. (This book contains both poetry and short fiction inspired by the author’s many travels and for certain of the specific stories and poems by his service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Iran.) Available through Amazon.
Lorentz, John H. Professor of History, Emeritus. Shawnee State University. (RPCV from Iran Group I) The A to Z of Iran, Scarecrow Press, Inc. 2007. 479 pages. (Historical dictionary of Iran, 2nd edition) (This volume is very valuable for Iran RPCVs who learned a lot about their country of assignment 40 years ago and want to check the accuracy of their memory. The geography, the events and the actors of Iranian history and the Islamic revolutionary period are detailed for easy reference.) Copies available directly from the author at a substantial discount from list price. Also available used at
Marks, Mary Dana. Walled In, Walled Out: A Young American Woman in Iran. Peace Corps Writers, 2017. 48 pages. Available in tablet format from Amazon.
O’Donnell, Terence. Seven Shades of Memory. Mage Publishers. 1999. 149 pages. (Seven stories of short fiction set in Iran.)
O’Donnell, Terence. Garden of the Brave in War. Ticknor & Fields. 1980. 216 pages. (Memoir of 17 years in Iran filled with cultural insight.)
Peknik, George, The Meaning of the Boulder-Dushanbe Teahouse. Hoopoe Publications, Boulder, CO. 2004. 154 pages. (The book is a history and description of the Sister Cities project, begun during the Cold War, between Boulder, CO and Dushanbe, Tajikistan – a country historically connected to Iran both culturally and linguistically.) You may obtain this book from the author or a limited number of copies are available from PCIA as a thank-you gift for a small donation. Carried by
Phinney, Alice – Iran RPCV: Yekke Bude, Yekke Na Bude. A Hearthstone Book, Carlton Press, Inc. New York. 1975. 71 pages. (One of the first published writings by an Iran RPCV, and one who was 67 years old at her time of service.) Out of print. Try
Pitzer, Paul – Iran RPCV: “Hello Mister,” produced by POD publisher BLURB. Soft cover book available through the BLURB website but pricy at $94.00. The reason is extensive use of color photos, an issue with POD production. There is a downloadable PDF file of the book available through BLURB for $5.00. (This is an insightful month-by-month chronicle of his service in Ahar, Azarbaijan.)
Ricks, Thomas, Turbulent Times In Palestine: The Diaries of Khalil Totah, 1886-1955, This captivating and richly detailed biography of one of mandate Palestine’s best known educators draws on Totah’s diaries, journals, letters, photos, testimonies, and published writings. Middle East: Past and Present, The authors have traced the influence of the peoples of this region through history and show that it could again determine the destiny of the world. International Journal of Middle East Studies (The Middle East Studies Association of North America, vol. 42), Journal of middle east studies February 2010. Middle East: Past and Present 2 Sub edition by Armajani, Yahya, Ricks, Thomas M. (1986) Hardcover
Seaver, Jennifer. Journeys: A Novel of Iran. iUniverse 2004 (Semi auto-biographical novel informed by the author’s experience as a PCV in Rasht, Iran.) Also available through Amazon.