It's thrilling to watch Walled In, Walled Out: A Young American Woman in Iran wend its way the World Wide Web and book groups, landing in libraries and indie bookstores, and in the hands of friends and strangers. Here are a few highligts of this adventure.


Walled In, Walled Out Receives the 2017 Moritz Thomsen Award for Memoir 

Peace Corps Worldwide has selected Walled In, Walled Out: A Young American Woman in Iran by Mary Dana Marks to receive the 2017 Moritz Thomsen Award for Memoir. The award is part of the organization’s efforts to further fulfill its goals to encourage, recognize and promote Peace Corps writers. Moritz Thomsen (1915-1991), for whom the award is named, was a Peace Corps volunteer in Rio Verde, Ecuador, and wrote extensively about his experiences there.

Celebrating Walled In, Walled Out. From left: Grace KennanWarnecke, Rosanne Weston, Mary Dana Marks, Gerri Marielle, Susan Ades Stone.

Book groups from Oregon to Ohio to Illinois have chosen to explore Walled In Walled Out.  Peace Corps Iran Association even telecommuted a discussion via Zoom! Here my own group flourishes copies of the book at our annual luncheon meeting in Brooklyn.

Celebrating the publication of my book with members of my talented, patient writing group. From left: Grace Kennan Warnecke, Rosanne Weston, me, Gerri Marielle, and Susan Ades Stone. 

Mary Dana Marks signed copy of Walled In, Walled Out at Peace Corps Iran Association Annapolis conference.

Signing a copy of my book for Donley Smith at the Peace Corps Iran Association conference/reunion in Annapolis. Current Iran/United States issues were a focus of the meeting, as were methods and opportunities for attendees to advocate for improving relations between the two countries.

Interview with Peace Corps Writers Published Online

My memoir joins scores of other accounts penned by those who served as Peace Corps Volunteers. Many of us were privileged to publish under the imprint of Peace Corps Writers, the arm of Peace Corps Worldwide. It celebrates the Peace Corps experience by publishing stories from around the world by Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, sharing these experiences with all who have a desire for international understanding. This effort exemplifies the Third Goal of the Peace Corps — to “bring the world back home.”

As part of this publication process, Peace Corps Writers editor Marion Beal interviewed me about my Peace Corps experiences and writing Walled In, Walled Out: A Young American Woman in Iran. You can link to the interview here.