"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."
"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."
Living on the Edge contains seventeen remarkable stories by writers
who served in the Peace Corps, including well-known authors such as John
Coyne, John Givens, Norman Rush and Paul Theroux, as well as work by exciting
emerging authors like Mark Jacobs and Marnie Mueller. All these stories
reflect the impact the Peace Corps experience had on former volunteers
who write across cultures in the literary tradition of Joseph Conrad, E.
M. Forster, and Paul Bowles. Each author has included a commentary on how
he or she came to write the anthologized story.
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.