Throughout her writing career Julia Alvarez has been examining definitions of the “Americas” and rethinking conceptualizations of the nation. Her multiperspectivist literary works have given voice to women of the Dominican Republic, Haiti, the United States, and to those who, as Alvarez says, “shift from foot to foot.” This article looks at Alvarez’s recent activism along the Haiti-Dominican Republic border and calls upon Alvarez’s In the Time of the Butterflies (1994) to establish how the author uses the feminist and activist transgressions of the Mirabal sisters to speak against the Dominican legacy of anti-Haitian sentiment and political action, so firmly entrenched by Rafael Trujillo and by subsequent Dominican leaders. It then examines Alvarez’s travel memoir, A Wedding in Haiti (2012), to analyze how she uses memoir as her own testimonio of the possibility of redefined relationships across Hispaniola’s national borders. These relationships eschew masculinist, dictatorial, and anti-Haitian vitriol and embrace person-to-person encounters and grass-roots activism, core elements of Alvarez’s notion of comunidad.
Julia Alvarez and Haiti: Transgressing Imposed Borders in In the Time of the Butterflies, A Wedding in Haiti, and Protests against Ruling 0168-13.
Journal of International Women's Studies, 17(3), 80-90.
Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol17/iss3/7