In the Time of the Butterflies (Hardcover)

Staff Pick Badge
In the Time of the Butterflies Cover Image
Call or email to see if a used copy is available.
Out of Print

Staff Reviews

The date of November 25th is now observed in many Latin American countries as International Day Against Violence Towards Women. It was on this date that the three Mirabel sisters were murdered by the Trijullo regime in the Dominican Republic. Alvarez tells their story of bravey and defiance with compelling gracefulness. — Nancy Scheemaker

Algonquin Books has reissued this powerful and mesmerizing novel of politicial and social upheaval in the Dominican Republic, based on the lives of three sisters who fought the Trujillo regime. Also in a new edition is Alvarez's splendid first novel about the immigrant experience, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents

— Louise Jones

This masterful novel tells the story of the Garcia sisters, Las Mariposas, who are murdered for their political opposition to Gen.Trujillo's dictatorship in the Dominican Republic in 1960. Their stories and that of their surviving sister are interwoven through the decades of their lives, part fact, part fiction, all brilliance. — Amy Palmer


It is November 25, 1960, and three beautiful sisters have been found near their wrecked Jeep at the bottom of a 150-foot cliff on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The official state newspaper reports their deaths as accidental. It does not mention that a fourth sister lives. Nor does it explain that the sisters were among the leading opponents of Gen. Rafael Leonidas Trujillo’s dictatorship. It doesn’t have to. Everybody knows of Las Mariposas—“The Butterflies.”

In this extraordinary novel, the voices of all four sisters—Minerva, Patria, María Teresa, and the survivor, Dedé—speak across the decades to tell their own stories, from hair ribbons and secret crushes to gunrunning and prison torture, and to describe the everyday horrors of life under Trujillo’s rule. Through the art and magic of Julia Alvarez’s imagination, the martyred Butterflies live again in this novel of courage and love, and the human cost of political oppression. 

About the Author

Julia Alvarez left the Dominican Republic for the United States in 1960 at the age of ten. She is the author of six novels, two books of nonfiction, three collections of poetry, and eight books for children and young adults. Her work has garnered wide recognition, including a Latina Leader Award in Literature in 2007 from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the 2002 Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature, the
2000 Woman of the Year by Latina magazine, and inclusion in the New York Public Library’s 1996 program “The Hand of the Poet: Original Manuscripts by 100 Masters, from John Donne to Julia Alvarez.” A writer-in-residence at Middlebury College, Alvarez and her husband, Bill Eichner, established Alta Gracia, an organic coffee farm–literacy arts center, in her homeland, the Dominican Republic.

Praise For…

"A gorgeous and sensitive novel . . . A compelling story of courage, patriotism and familial devotion." —People

"A magnificent treasure for all cultures and all time." —St. Petersburg Times

"A fascinating and powerful picture of a family and a nation’s history." —The Dallas Morning News

"Imagination and history in sublime combination . . . Read this book for the novel it is. Read this book for the place it takes you. Read this book and take courage." —The Denver Post

Product Details
ISBN: 9781565120389
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: January 9th, 1994
Pages: 344