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TASTE OF SALT by Frances Temple


A Story of Modern Haiti

by Frances Temple

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-531-05459-4
Publisher: Orchard

 Incidents in Haiti's turbulent recent history are seen through the eyes of two Port-au-Prince teenagers in a poignant (doubly so, considering subsequent events) first novel. Djo and Jeremie are both from the slums. Djo ``almost went to school,'' spent years living with and helping the revolutionary priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and now lies in a clinic, badly injured after a firebombing. Jeremie, an honor student, has been moved to sit at Djo's bedside, listen to his story, and later, when he falls into a coma, tell hers. Though the two have very different personalities--cheerful Djo sees the world as a simple place; Jeremie finds it full of shadows and uncertainty--they've both seen grinding poverty, survived bloody Macoute attacks, and fervently support the newly elected Aristide; both hope for a brighter future. In voodoo lore, a pinch of salt can give a zombie self-awareness and escape; here, Temple offers such a taste while celebrating the revolutionary movement that has given the Haitian people a taste of escape from oppression. (Fiction. 12+)