IN THE TIME OF THE BUTTERFLIES author Julia Alvarez visits Brookdale Community College on Tuesday, in the culmination of The Big Read 2014 slate of events. (Photo by Pete Smith)
Inspired by the 1960 murders of sisters Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa Mirabal — founders of the Dominican underground movement that opposed the rule of dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo — the novel In the Time of the Butterflies marked the 20th anniversary of its original publication this year, by being selected as the subject of the second annual Big Read initiative for Monmouth County.
While the setting for the book by Julia Alvarez is specific to the Dominican Republic in the 1950s, the themes — freedom, equality, human rights — are universal. Beginning early last month, the slate of Big Read events organized by The Center for Holocaust, Human Rights & Genocide Education (Chhange) at Brookdale Community College went well beyond the printed page, encompassing art exhibits, musical performances, screenings of the 2001 Butterflies feature film, and a program of dramatic readings at Red Bank’s Two River Theater.
This Tuesday, November 25, The Big Read 2014 comes to a head with a visit by Julia Alvarez herself, as the author travels to BCC’s Lincroft campus for a pair of personal appearances.
Author Julia Alvarez is among the special guests taking part in the slate of events for The Big Read 2014, beginning this Monday and centered around her novel IN THE TIME OF THE BUTTERFLIES. Inset: art by Carlos Frias.
The setting is specific: the Dominican Republic, during the time of the brutal dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. The themes, however, are universal — freedom, equality, human rights.
Inspired by the 1960 murders of the three Mirabal sisters, and marking the 20th anniversary of its original publication this year, the novel In the Time of the Butterflies becomes the centerpiece of the second annual Big Read campaign at locations in and around the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College.
Beginning on Monday, October 6 (and “keynoted” with a late-innings appearance by the novel’s author Julia Alvarez), The Big Read 2014 is organized by The Center for Holocaust, Human Rights & Genocide Education (Chhange) at BCC, in partnership with the National Endowment of the Arts and its “initiative to revitalize the role of reading in American popular culture and inspire all citizens, young and old, to participate,” in the words of Chhange Coordinator Deborah Degnan.