Julia Alvarez Reading and Talk

Please come and join us for
Butterflies, a Wedding, a Border of Lights:
A Reading and Talk by Middlebury College’s Writer-in-Residence Julia Alvarez.
Wednesday, November 28, 7 p.m., Robert A. Jones ’59 Conference Room
Middlebury College’s writer-in-residence Julia Alvarez will read from her most recent book “A Wedding in Haiti” about her friendship with a young Haitian boy known as Piti. A teenager when Julia and her husband, Bill, first met him in 2001, Piti crossed the border into the Dominican Republic to find work. Julia, impressed by his courage, charmed by his smile, has over the years come to think of him as a son, even promising to be at his wedding someday. When Piti called in 2009, Julia’s promise was tested. To Alvarez, much admired for her ability to lead readers deep inside her native Dominican culture, “Haiti is like a sister I’ve never gotten to know.” And so we follow her across the border into what was once the richest of all the French colonies and now teeters on the edge of the abyss—first for the celebration of a wedding and a year later to find Piti’s loved ones in the devastation of the earthquake.
Julia Alvarez will also talk about the “Border of Lights,” a initiative that took place from October 4-6, 2012 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Haitian Massacre, during which dictator Rafael Trujillo ordered the slaughter of as many as 20,000 Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian decent at the Dominican-Haitian border. Last October, artists, activists, students, parents, teachers, and clergy gathered together in the border city of Dajabón to remember a genocide long forgotten, and unknown to many people. Moreover, the “Border of Lights” initiative seeks not only to remember the victims of the massacre but also shine a light on ongoing injustices faced by those of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic.
This event is part of the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender Violence sponsored by the Program in Women and Gender Studies, Chellis House (Women’s Resource Center), Women of Color, and Stop Trafficking.