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Peter Chilson

Author, "We Never Knew Exactly Where: Dispatches from the Lost Country of Mali" and "Riding the Demon: On the Road in West Africa"
 Peter  Chilson

PETER CHILSON teaches writing and literature at Washington State University. He is the author of the travelogue Riding the Demon: On the Road in West Africa (University of Georgia Press, 1999), which won the Associated Writing Programs Award in nonfiction, and the story collection Disturbance-Loving Species: A Novella and Stories (Mariner Books, 2007), winner of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Bakeless Fiction Prize and the Maria Thomas Fiction Prize. His essays, journalism, and short stories have appeared in Foreign Policy, the American Scholar, Gulf Coast, High Country News, Audubon, and Ascent, among other publications, as well as twice in the Best American Travel Writing anthology. Chilson first traveled to West Africa in 1985 as a volunteer in the Peace Corps, teaching junior high school English in the village of Bouza, Niger, near the border with Nigeria. A longtime visitor to Mali pursuing scholarly inquiries on the subject of French West Africa and the history of its borders, he traveled to Mali in 2012 for the Foreign Policy-Pulitzer Center Borderlands project, witnessing one of the tumultuous year’s attempted coups in the capital of Bamako and becoming one of the few Western journalists to visit the country’s troubled northern half to see firsthand the effects of civil war and the new breakaway jihadist state.

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Dispatches from the Lost Country of Mali

Peter Chilson

Dispatches from the Lost Country of MaliWhat happens when a country suddenly splits in two? In 2012, Mali, once a poster child for African democracy, all but collapsed in a succession of coups and countercoups as Islamist rebels claimed control of the country’s north, making it a new safe haven for al Qaeda. Read More ››

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