By Philip Weiss
In 1975, a brand new crew of Peace Corps volunteers landed at the island state of Tonga. between them used to be Deborah Gardner -- a gorgeous twenty-three-year-old who, within the following 12 months, will be stabbed twenty-two occasions and left for lifeless inside of her hut. one other volunteer grew to become himself in to the Tongan police, and lots of of the opposite american citizens have been convinced he had devoted the crime. yet via the kingdom division, he again domestic a loose guy. even supposing the tale used to be stored quiet within the usa, Deb Gardner's demise and the outlandish aftermath took on mythical proportions in Tonga. Now journalist Philip Weiss "shines sunlight at the proof of this grotesque case with the fervor of an avenging angel" (Chicago Tribune), exposing a gripping story of affection, violence, and clashing beliefs. With bravura reporting and bright, novelistic prose, Weiss transforms a Polynesian legend right into a singular artifact of yank background and a profoundly relocating human tale.
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Extra info for American Taboo: A Murder in the Peace Corps (P.S.)
Tonga 11 had come out two years before Deb’s group, and a number of them had lately extended their service. The three who lived at the mosquito lab, Jackson, Wyler, and Bevacqua, were considered to be fakatonga. They liked Tongan ways. Frank Bevacqua was a moody and artistic New Yorker with curling dark hair that fell over a strong forehead and prominent nose. ” After two years in Tonga his wife had gone home, but by then the world had peeled open to Frank the way the founders of Peace Corps had promised, and he couldn’t understand why anyone would want to leave.
The thick glasses she’d worn since she was a girl had made her feel socially awkward, even at times incompetent. She curtained herself off with long thick hair, and studied the mynah birds and epiphytic ferns outside the bus window. Still, Emile and Dennis noticed her slender body and delicate coloring, and murmured about how she’d look with those glasses off and the hair away from her face. Suva was a real city. The Bird Lady found a red-vented bulbul’s nest, Tom went to an ashram, Emile and Dennis went down to the Indian shops.
A blue ranch house. A half-dozen rhododendrons. A 44 P h i l i p We i s s pretty gray-haired woman in a blue velour tracksuit opened the door but held the storm open on the chain. She looked to be about 65. Her hands were fine, like her daughter’s. “I’m researching a book about the Peace Corps—” Alice stood back as though I had pushed her, then opened the door for me, let me in. I came into a room carpeted in powder blue with couches along two walls, and Deb’s senior-year portrait from Washington State on a sideboard.
American Taboo: A Murder in the Peace Corps (P.S.) by Philip Weiss