121 pages 4 hours read

Julia Alvarez

In the Time of the Butterflies

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1994

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In the Time of the Butterflies

  • Genre: Fiction; magical realism
  • Originally Published: 1994
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 910L; grades 9-12; college/adult
  • Structure/Length: 12 chapters and epilogue; approx. 370 pages; approx. 13 hours, 20 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: In the narrative present, Dedé Mirabal, whose three sisters, Minerva, Patria, and Mate, all died while attempting to overthrow Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo (who ruled from 1930 to 1961), shares the story of her brave, heroic sisters who became national heroes known as the Butterflies.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Torture and inhumane prison conditions; sexual predation by powerful male leader

Julia Alvarez, Author

  • Bio: Novelist, poet, essayist born in 1950 in New York City; lived in her family’s native Dominican Republic from age 3 months to 10 years, when her family fled back to the US because of her father’s discovered role in a plot to overthrow the island nation’s dictator; earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Middlebury College (VT) and a master’s degree from Syracuse University; married and settled in Vermont after living and teaching throughout the United States; recipient of the National Medal of Arts (2013)
  • Other Works: How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (1991); ¡Yo! (1997); Return to Sender (2010); Afterlife (2020)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit: