Meeting Julia Alvarez – “In the Time of the Butterflies”

i Oct 27th No Comments by

In The Time of the Butterflies: a novel by Julia Alvarez -- click for book summary

Seeing my older blog posts shared on this site suggests I need to get busy and share some fresher ones. So let me get started tonight!

Today, October 27, our new website went live! Tomorrow eHope is launched. We celebrate this but also those who communicate ideas thru stories.  Tonight, meet Julia Alvarez.

I just returned from the exciting climax to a program called “The Big Read”, sponsored by my town of Montclair New Jersey’s public library, Julia Alvarez, the author of “In the Time of the Butterflies” made an appearance. No, she was not with us physically, but she was surely with us. It was a direct, interactive conversation with an excellent virtual presentation on a large screen for at least 100 people. What an encouragement about the power of the story she expressed, as well is the power of virtual media done well!

Several months ago, someone who saw the big sign up in front of our library with the butterfly motif told me I needed to find out what this was about. They knew I raise Monarchs and other butterflies. (Sadly, hardly any in the past 2 years arrived from their winter in Mexico to lay eggs on my milkweed.)

I found out that this Big Read was not about butterflies, but about 3 human “Mariposas”; sisters who were murdered for their efforts to rid the Dominican Republic of the dictator Trujillo. From a true story virtually no one knew about, including me, to the sisters being celebrated by an official United Nations Day on November 25 commemorating them and focusing world attention against violence to women is quite a reach. That’s the power of story!

Here is a quote from Julia’s website celebrating Dede, the sister who survived and was forever asked the question, “Why didn’t they kill you, too?” as she received guests of all kinds from all places.

” Every day we can ask ourselves a version of the question the schoolchildren would ask her: Why am I alive today in this world? How can I serve? What can I contribute to see that justice is served? To ensure that every girl and boy in the world gets the opportunity to live a decent life? Each day that we provide our answer to these questions, the Mariposas are alive.”

Julia Alvarez was raised in the Dominican Republic and now lives in the US. There’s lots more that could be said, but I resolve to do more blogs, and probably keep them shorter then my lengthy tendency. So enough for tonight.

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