The Foreign Service Journal - November 2017

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | NOVEMBER 2017 21 FOCUS ON FS AUTHORS Unique experiences are the stuff of Foreign Service life— and compelling literature. One former FSO describes his journey to becoming a writer. BY PETER KUJAWI NSK I Peter Kujawinski writes fiction and nonfiction for all ages. He contributes to The New York Times travel section and the New Yorker online. He is the author, with Jake Halpern, of Nightfall , a science-fiction novel for teens (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2015). Their critically ac- claimed follow-up novel, Edgeland , was released in May. They also co-wrote the middle-grade Dormia trilogy ( Dormia , World’s End and Shadow Tree ). Before turning to writing full-time, he was an FSO for 18 years, serving in Israel, Haiti, France, the United Nations headquarters in New York and Canada. He now lives in Chicago with his family. T he Foreign Service is filled with all kinds of stories. Some are recognizable to anyone working in a large organization with office politics and layers of management. Oth- ers are unique to the particular lifestyle of diplomats: the excitement and anxiety of bid lists, monastic periods of language training, arrival in a random country that will be home for two or three years, and the loneliness of being a stranger in a strange land coupled with the fishbowl atmosphere of an American embassy. Even the act of moving—something Foreign Service employees TREEART: ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/PROKSIMA Writing and the ForeignService