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Peregrina: Unexpected Adventures
of an American Consul
Ginny Carson Young, New Academia
Publishing/Vellum Books, 2012, $38/
hardcover; $28/paperback, 390 pages.
After the death of her FSO husband and
college sweetheart, Ginny Young trans-
formed her life and joined the Foreign Ser-
vice herself. Defying her expectations of
dull visa processing work and arriving late to a society reshaped
by the sexual revolution, she fnds she has entered a changed
world. From being mistaken for a CIA agent on her frst tour in
India to witnessing a revolution in Romania, Ginny recounts
her adventures in a memoir that is, in the words of
’s John
Powers, “wonderfully readable and sharp as a stiletto.”
Te author’s positive and energetic attitude toward life comes
across in her writing.
is inspiration for how to move
forward in times of great loss and how to live with verve. Young
spurns self-aggrandizement, opting instead to describe the
humorous slips and faux pas that she considers more palatable.
Her stories—from brightly asking the Maharajah of Jodhpur
“What do you do here?” to nearly serving President Jimmy
Carter food deemed unsterile by the White House chef—are all
recounted in delightful detail and with keen insight, making for
an engaging and authentic read.
Ginny Carson Young served in India, Hong Kong, Mexico,
Romania and Peru before retiring in 1992. Her second husband,
Don Young, died of pancreatic cancer after she fnished
. She lives in Washington, D.C. Te book is a volume in the
ADST Memoirs and Occasional Papers series.
Djakarta Djournal: Adventures of a
Diplomatic Spouse in Indonesia
Clayton Bond, Amazon Digital Services,
2012, $5, Kindle Edition.
Clayton Bond, who is gay, black and one
half of a tandem Foreign Service couple,
writes in
Djakarta Djournal
about his
exploration of foreign countries and the
challenges facing his partner and him. More
than a Foreign Service autobiography, it is a coming out story,
a love story and a history of civil rights movements for African-
Americans and gays.
Te standard struggles of a Foreign Service couple have an
added twist for Clayton and Ted. Tey experience the agony felt
by many same-sex FSO couples before Secretary Hillary Rodham
Clinton’s decision to designate same-sex partners as eligible
family members at State. Trips home to America take on extra
stress when Clayton’s family hesitates to see Ted as more than a
“friend.” Finally, the desire to start a family, a big decision even
for straight couples within the Foreign Service, takes a heart-
breaking turn when their status as foreigners, non-Muslims and
a same-sex couple presents obstacles within the Indonesian
adoption system.
A contributor to numerous magazines, Clayton Bond was edi-
tor of
Te Kayon
, a quarterly for expatriate American women in
Jakarta, and manages two blogs:
Djakarta Djournal
. He is now posted in Washington, D.C., and is a mem-
ber of the FSJ Editorial Board. Proceeds from the book version
Djakarta Djournal
will beneft Yayasan Suwitno, a nonproft
providing free HIV testing and care for low-income Indonesians.
A Long Way from Runnemede:
One Woman’s Foreign Service
Theresa Anne Tull, New Academia
Publishing/Vellum Books, 2012,
$26, paperback, 330 pages.
Ambassador Teresa Tull’s career started in
Brussels. Ten, after a year of Vietnamese
language training, she was posted to Saigon
just in time for the Tet Ofensive of 1968. She returned to Washing-
ton, D.C., in 1970 to serve on the VietnamWorking Group before
heading back to Vietnam in 1973 as deputy principal ofcer at the
consulate general in Da Nang. Tere she remained until the fall
of South Vietnam in the spring of 1975, when she organized and
oversaw the consulate’s evacuation.
Te details of Tull’s small-town beginnings in Runnemede,
N.J., that open the book give perspective to the experiences and
accomplishments of her 33-year Foreign Service career. In the
prologue, she tells of relaxing with a cup of tea after writing the
most signifcant cable of her Vietnam service, and fnding this
message in her fortune cookie: “You’ve come a long way, baby.”
Tis memoir, which is a volume in the ADST Memoirs and
Occasional Papers series, ofers an insider’s view of historic
moments in U.S. international relations. Her perspective is can-
did and often critical of fawed policy.
Teresa Tull also served overseas in the Philippines and Laos.
In 1987 President Ronald Reagan appointed her ambassador to
Guyana, and in 1993 President Bill Clinton named her ambas-
sador to Brunei. She retired in 1996 and now divides her time
between Sea Isle City, N.J., and Washington, D.C.