Peace Corps Writers To Publish How To Cook A Crocodile

Bonnie Lee Black (Gabon 1996-98) who lives and teaching writing in Taos, New Mexico, has written   How To Cook a Crocodile. It is the first book to be published by our new imprint, PeaceCorpsWriters.

Bonnie, author of the memoir, Somewhere Child (Viking Press, 1981) decided at the age of  50, after a breast cancer scare, and ten years of physically exhausting catering work, to shut down her New York business and join the Peace Corps.

“I was a health and nutrition Volunteer in Lastoursville, in the middle of the rainforest, and like so many PCV before me, I emerged from this experience having learned more than I taught.  Unlike other Peace Corps authors, though, I tell my tale in a new way:  as interconnecting essays with recipes.” 

Bonnie goes on to say, “In 1942 – in the midst of war rationing, when many American households had reason to fear the wolf at the door – an opinionated, highbrow beauty from California published a book of essays with recipes.  Mary Frances Kennedy (famously known as M. F. K.) Fisher’s How To Cook a Wolf, as she herself described it, was about survival, ‘about living as decently as possible with the ration cards and blackouts and like miseries of World War II.’  Her essays were erudite.  Her recipes, practical.  Today, her book, still in print, seems charmingly out of date, quaint.”

Bonnie’s book, How To Cook a Crocodile, could be thought of as the wild grandchild of Fisher’s book.  It is intended to be both more and less than How To Cook a Wolf:  more down-to-earth, more adventuresome; less opinionated, philosophical, high-tone essay; more dramatic, personal narrative.  What both books have in common, though, is that the item to be cooked stands purely as a metaphor for survival.

We will announce when the book is for sale on our site from

We know that Bonnie’s book will be the first of many PeaceCorpsWriters books.


Leave a comment
  • John and Marian:
    This is terrific, anxious to see what else you have in the pipeline. What fun.

  • This is interesting. Can’t wait to read Bonnie’s book. Congratulations from Gabon.

  • Read the review in the Taos News-was hoping it would be out for presents this holiday season! Love the by-line “Life is difficult – a constant struggle – not to be happy, but to stay on your own footpath”..think that is what she wrote! Perfect — love it!

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