November 29, 2003 - Personal Web Site: Green Fires: A novel of the Ecuadorian Rainforest by RPCV Marnie Mueller

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Ecuador: Peace Corps Ecuador : The Peace Corps in Ecuador: November 29, 2003 - Personal Web Site: Green Fires: A novel of the Ecuadorian Rainforest by RPCV Marnie Mueller

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Green Fires: A novel of the Ecuadorian Rainforest by RPCV Marnie Mueller

Green Fires: A novel of the Ecuadorian Rainforest by RPCV Marnie Mueller

Green Fires: A novel of the Ecuadorian Rainforest

“In an intense novel, Mueller addresses a multitude of themes and skillfully weaves political intrigue with moral debate...Mueller’s uncompromising vision blends plot, well-defined characters, and moral authority seamlessly and intelligently.” -- Belles Lettres

“This is a remarkable achievement--a novel which presents the indigenous peoples of the rainforest without cliché or stereotype, romanticism or ideology. It dares to depict their struggle for survival with all its complexity and contradictions, moments of fear and cruelty, courage and love. With honesty and art, Marnie Mueller has written a story not just about the war waged against the rainforest and the indigenous peoples but against--and within--each one of us.” -- Larry Cox, Executive Director, The Rainforest Foundation

“I loved the book precisely because it takes a big issue and examines it through characters and emotions that even a couch potato will find absorbing and entertaining.” -- World View

“Mueller captures with rare honesty the complexity and cultural manipulations that occur when an oppressed people must fight for survival and forces of greed vie for the riches of a quickly disappearing paradise. -- Kirkus Reviews

“An engrossing piece of fiction...A very powerful tale with an even more powerful message, Mueller succeeds in painting vivid images in the hearts and minds of her readers.” -- Copley News Service

“I’m rereading Mueller’s book because the first time I was seduced by memorable characters, high adventure, an intense experience; this time I will ponder the rich political and ethical issues raised with honesty and art by this deeply personal fiction.” -- Crosswinds

“Passionately written, profoundly political, deeply disturbing...” -- Maine Progressive

“Taken together, the journey and the recollections of the travelers form a mural of human loss in the modern era.” -- The Dallas Morning News

“Marnie Mueller’s ambitious first novel succeeds on two important levels: It is a chilling well as an ecological education for the reader new to the trials of Latin America.” -- The Bloomsbury Review

“This is a harrowing document and a powerful comment on the problems of our time...Also, the presentation of the psychological and moral problems of the American protagonist in the Third World, plus the captivating narrative, makes for a significant novel.” -- Choice

“Along with gems of exquisite jungle description, and compelling rendering of a woman’s inner struggle...Mueller effectively narrates an unfolding moral struggle in a far-off third world locale...Mueller has produced a rare first novel...” -- Inner Journeys

“Mueller is excellent at building suspense and painting with vivid hues.” -- The Indianapolis News

“Green Fires is a superbly crafted novel of adventure and suspense, cultural manipulation and indigenous survival.” -- Midwest Book Review

“Mueller skillfully re-creates the sense of being in the jungle...She is well acquainted with corruption and the way things work—and don’t work—in the South American country...Her characters ring with authenticity...” -- The Hartford Courant

NOVELIST Marnie Mueller was the first Caucasian born in the Tule Lake Japanese American Segregation Camp in northern California where her father, a pacifist, and her mother, a teacher, were working during World War II. In 1963 she joined the Peace Corps, reporting for duty on the very day that President Kennedy was assassinated. She spent two years in Guayaquil, Ecuador living and working in a barrio. Subsequently she served as a community organizer in East Harlem, New York, as the Director of Summer Programming for New York City under Mayor John Lindsay, as a producer of rock and folk concerts, and as the Program Director of Pacifica Radio in New York (WBAI).

Drawing on her Peace Corps experience, Marnie Mueller wrote her widely acclaimed first novel, Green Fires: A Novel of the Ecuadorian Rainforest (Curbstone Press, cloth 1994, paper 1999). It was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers choice in 1994, a New York Times Book Review "New and Noteworthy in Paperback" pick in the spring of 1999, and the recipient of various awards, including: A 1995 American Book Award, a 1995 Maria Thomas Award for Outstanding Fiction, and a 1995 Best Books for the Teenage (New York City Public Library). It was optioned for a feature film by Craig Anderson Productions, L.A. A German translation, Grune Feuer, was published by btb of Goldmann/Bertelsmann, Munich in 1996.

With her second novel, The Climate of the Country, set in the Tule Lake Japanese American Camp, Marnie Mueller once again transformed her remarkable personal experience into fiction. The Climate of the Country was published to acclaim by Curbstone Press in 1999. The novel was extensively reviewed both nationally and internationally in the Far East, England, and Italy, in print as well as on such electronic media outlets such as NPR's "Fresh Air." The San Francisco Chronicle/Examiner called it "A powerful and relevant story of love and faith put to the test." The novel was chosen by Paz & Associates as a recommended book for reading groups, and it has been listed widely on required reading lists at high schools and universities as well as in special interest venues such as the National Archives Course Study recommendations on the Japanese American Internment during W.W.II. The Climate of the Country was one of two finalists in the IPPY Awards 2000, and The Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Awards 2000 awarded it an honorable mention. An Italian translation, L'Aria Che Respiravamo, was published in 1999 by Corbaccio of the Longanesi Group, Milan. It was reissued in paper in 2002 by THEA, also of the Longanesi Group, Milan.

Marnie Mueller lectures at high schools and universities, and in special interest venues on subjects related to her novels—the destruction of the rainforest in the Amazon region and the history of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. As a result of her novel Green Fires, her experience in the Peace Corps, and her long history of political activism, Peter Jennings included her in his ABC documentary The Century and also as a first-person "voice of the twentieth century" in his book of the same title.

Her latest novel, My Mother's Island (Curbstone Press 2002) is set in a small community in Puerto Rico where her family lived for twenty years. It was a BOOKSENSE 76 SELECTION.

Marnie Mueller was a MacDowell Colony Fellow in 2001.

She lives in New York City with her husband Fritz Mueller.

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Story Source: Personal Web Site

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Ecuador; Rain Forest; Writing - Ecuador



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