"In his beautifully written memoir . . . he relays these memories with neither bitterness nor self-serving pity--just a good dose of humor and intelligence . . . He shares thoughtful insight into Fiji's exotic history and society . . . Off-the-charts hysterical.
An unabashed, candid memoir that continually entertains and educates."
“The book is an eye-opening story about love, loss, and discrimination . . . Not only is this an exciting memoir, but it’s a great modern day Romeo and Juliet tale. You can tell that this book was a passionate labor of love. Each page is as addicting as the last, with great emotional elements driving the story . . . This is a great book for those looking for a well-rounded love story with a few laughs and a lot of heart.” Five Stars.
--SAN FRANCISCO BOOK REVIEW
"Lutwick's memoir is a fun romp through the tropics, featuring forbidden love and outrageous cross-cultural miscommunications. Part South Pacific and part adventure comedy, Lutwick's book is all heart.
I cheered for him every step of the way."
--JULIA SCHEERES, New York Times bestselling author of her memoir Jesus Land, winner of the Alex and New Visions Nonfiction Book Awards, and A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown, one of the San Francisco Chronicle's Top 100 Books of 2011 and winner of the Northern California Independent Booksellers Book of the Year Award for Nonfiction.
". . . an entertaining and thought provoking Peace Corps memoir. This is a fine example of what a memoir can be . . . Written with episodic, fast paced chapters it is intriguing. Once I started, I could not stop and yet, found myself thinking about his story and its themes long after the highlighted passages began to fade.
If you enjoy a roller-coaster memoir, you'll love Dodging Machetes. It will probably win awards. Five stars."
--PEACE CORPS WORLDWIDE by LAWRENCE F. LIHOSIT, author of ten books including the bible on Peace Corps memoirs, Peace Corps Experience: Write and Publish Your Memoir
Strap yourself in for a wild ride!
Dodging Machetes is sometimes dramatic and thrilling, other times flat-out funny. And it's always compelling!
Will Lutwick, a quirky misfit, gets an MBA at 22, but soon realizes he and the American corporate world are a horrid mismatch. He joins the Peace Corps and is sent to the Fiji Islands, the quintessential tropical paradise. Will finds himself attracted to prohibited pulchritude when Rani Gupta, a beautiful, rebellious 20-year-old from a traditional Hindu family, begins working in his office. Dating is taboo in Fiji's large Indian community, and an interracial couple would be unprecedented. But Rani and Will soon discover their mutual attraction impossible to resist. Their liaison is clandestine, but word gets out, and a cultural firestorm engulfs Rani's community. The two lovers are under constant threat of attack, and violence ensues. Will must confront his personal demons about courage and commitment, while Rani is treated like a pariah by her people. Will the besieged lovers stay together, or will a hostile world tear them apart?
In between the dramatic scenes, this serio-comic memoir is savvy and often hilarious. Lutwick deliciously skewers his own behavior and satirizes the people, practices, and protocols he encounters in Fiji and in backstory about his youth.
Will Lutwick has woven his provocative insight with the dramatic events of a singular, but timeless, forbidden-love story. The result is Dodging Machetes —a story-driven page-turner from an exceptional writer.