In 1960, the secret police of the Dominican Republic assassinated three sisters known as “las Mariposas”—the butterflies, dissidents working to overthrow the dictator Trujillo. Julia Alvarez’s 1994 historical fiction novel, In The Time of The Butterflies, tells the story from the perspectives of Patria, Minerva, and María Teresa “Mate” Mirabal as well as a fourth sister, Dedé, who survived. Nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and recently named the National Endowment for the Arts’ Big Read, the novel brought greater attention to the lives and work of the Mirabals, today recognized as national heroes and feminist icons.

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