Art Works Blog

To Tell the Truth

Washington, DC

What is the responsibility of those that survive? This question that Julia Alvarez asks in her novel In the Time of the Butterflies is a thread that runs through Alvarez's literary life. In this week's NEA podcast Alvarez---a child of Dominican parents who didn't publish her first novel How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents until she was 41---discusses how the brutal history of the Dominican Republic has shaped her as a writer. How does one expose the truth buried in the facts? How do you find the courage to tell the story when the safe thing to do is to remain quiet? And how do you make a place for your story---as a woman writer, as a writer from an immigrant family---where no place seemingly exists?

Before she was a writer, Julia Alvarez was a reader. In this excerpt from our Art Works podcast, she shares how discovering the library helped her find her way into the story of her life in the U.S.

Listen to the entire podcast with Julia Alvarez.

And visit The Big Read website to learn more about In The Time of the Butterflies.

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