Haiti: one thinks of voodoo, Papa Doc, political violence and desperate poverty. In Bonjour Blanc Thomson explores all of the dread demons and eccentricities of this unhappy republic. He is initiated into the feared Bizzango religion, an African animist cult whose associates venerate a coffin and human skulls; he talks to zombies, the walking dead. Part history, part personal travelogue, Thomson introduces us to a lively gallery of eccentrics: a Russian Cossack, a Swiss chess champion who had studied Einstein, and an ancient voodoo priest. Yet Haiti is also noted for its history as a retreat for writers - Anthony Trollope, Ian Flemming, Alexandre Dumas, Graham Greene and Eugene O'Neill - and Thomson wonderfully explores their Haitian adventures.
Ian Thomson's account of Haiti, Bonjour Blanc was highly praised in Britain and America. He was one of the last to interview Primo Levi, and the first to journey in his tracks as a biographer, his recent biography has been highly praised and has recently won the W. H. Heinemann Award. He is a freelance writer and journalist living in London with his wife and children.