The story of Dany Laferriere, the narrator and writer living in exile in Montreal, who finally comes home to Haiti. Nothing is different, and yet everything has changed.
There is his mother, who has never left Haiti, not even for one minute, and who still performs all the rituals of old. But there is also the army of zombies that takes over the streets at night, while the American army occupies the country by day.
What is this country of dead men? Is every Haitian a secret citizen? Is it possible for Laferriere to cross over to that country and then return?
Laferriere wanders through Port-au-Prince interrogating old friends and new acquaintances. The tone becomes strident, as do the questions: Do we stay? Do we leave? What's the point? Where can we be ourselves and live like humans at the same time? In the end Laferriere decides to head for Bombardopolis, a village where you only need to eat once every three months -- a way of curing hunger? What will become of him once he gets there, and who will he be when he returns?