India-40

This site holds excerpts from a forthcoming manuscript called INDIA 40 AND THE CIRCLE OF DEMONS. The book is a combination memoir and creative non-fiction. In the late 1960s I built schools, raised chickens, and killed rats with a Peace Corps group called India-40. Our Peace Corps story is far from standard. It was a hard-luck group and we weren’t the wholesome and well-groomed poster children John F. Kennedy likely envisioned.

The formally negotiated government-to-government construction program we prepared for never materialized and most of those who started didn’t make it. Death, sickness, corruption, love, friendship, drugs, illumination, and psychosis were all part of the story as were certain personal arguments with a foul-tempered Hindu god who resides in caves and complains a lot. Still, amazing things happened!

The manuscript centers on what Joseph Campbell called the “mono-myth” of epic journeys everywhere. A kid leaves home, encounters strange new forces, finds mentors and teachers, gets severely tested, survives, and turns into something different. Its a timeless storyline and the devils and angels are in the details. I look forward to some great conversations with people who have had similar experiences.