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In the countryside town of Guinaudée located in the Grand’Anse department of Haiti, some girls play hide-and-seek, jump rope, practice walking in high heels, and learn how to apply lipstick as they dreamed of becoming women. Other girls raise their young siblings, care for older relatives, and take on adult commitments.

In 1935, one 8-year-old girl had bigger dreams. She wanted to read and write and, one day, become an affluent Madan Sara—a female vendor—in the flea market. Her name was Erèz.
Erèz’s dreams would have to wait. Unable to care for her, her parents gave her away as a restavèk — a child servant — to a distant cousin in the City of Jérémie, in the hope that she would have a better future.

In the decades that followed, Eréz’s life wove through stains and rumbles left by political tensions from the United States’ occupation of Haiti, contradictions of aristocrat mulatos’ high-class life in the City of Jérémie, and scandals of unwed motherhood and forbidden love affairs. Through all her hardships, Erèz clung to her dreams and revisited them often as she longed for the day when her big break would allow her to write her own story.

When A Zombie Tastes Salt
Author: Elsy Dinvil
USD 18.50  (*excl. shipping costs)
Dimensions: 6 x 7.7 ", available in print & e-book
Release date: November 20. 2021


Elsy Dinvil is a chef, writer, educator, and food entrepreneur, born and raised in Jérémie, Haiti. She is the author of two cookbooks, Cooking With My Mother and Spice Up Simple Dishes With A Haitian Twist. She now lives in Portland, Oregon, where she has resided since 1999. When not writing recipes or teaching cooking classes, Elsy is busy chopping veggies and mixing spices in the Creole Me Up kitchen, a company she founded in 2017 to bring allergen-free Haitian food products to the Pacific Northwest.

  • Author Elsy Dinvil
Liz Crain
  • Richard Ireland
I love Elsy Dinvil's exuberant spirit, and it shines brightly and beautifully in this book filled with some of the trials and tribulations of her late mom's life. The book is set in their motherland of Haiti and begins in the 1930s when her mom is a young girl. Elsy is a strong, creative, heart-of-gold woman, who I admire very much. Her mother too. Both overcame many hardships to make it on their own, to tell their own stories. This is a loving and difficult tale told by a dtaughter in loving memory of her mother. And, if you love Elsy's food as much as I do, you get to read about many Haitian treats along the way as the story progresses, ranging from rich and tasty bouyon stews, shrimp creole and cinnamony plantain porridge to all sorts of sweet and savory fritays. Food is yet another way that Elsy will forevermore honor, remember and celebrate her mother.