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Afterlife
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Afterlife

English Edition

The first adult novel in almost fifteen years by the internationally bestselling author of In the Time of the Butterflies and How the García Girls Lost Their Accents.


Bookseller Recommendation

If you enjoyed The House of the Spirits, then you’ll love Afterlife.

“This book was poignant and sad and beautiful. The audiobook was narrated by Alma Cuervo who was the perfect voice to encapsulate Antonia Vega, a recently widowed and retired professor who finds herself in the middle of a few disasters when a pregnant undocumented teen shows up in her garage and her older sister goes missing. Alvarez' portrayal of sisterhood with Alma and her three sisters, all wild and uncontrollable in their own way, is beautiful. Though this short novel, you get to see Alma learn to leave with the grief of losing her husband and begin to open up again with the help of her sisters and a teen in need. Alvarez's writing is gorgeous and she brings her characters to life beautifully. She tackles immigration issue and fears as well as grief and mental illness. Though the novel is short, Alvarez packs a punch with every word she puts forward.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Kimi, Buttonwood Books and Toys

Description

Antonia Vega, the immigrant writer at the center of Afterlife, has had the rug pulled out from under her. She has just retired from the college where she taught English when her beloved husband, Sam, suddenly dies. And then more jolts: her bighearted but unstable sister disappears, and Antonia returns home one evening to find a pregnant, undocumented teenager on her doorstep. Antonia has always sought direction in the literature she loves - lines from her favorite authors play in her head like a soundtrack - but now she finds that the world demands more of her than words.

Afterlife is a compact, nimble, and sharply droll novel. Set in this political moment of tribalism and distrust, it asks: What do we owe those in crisis in our families, including - maybe especially - members of our human family? How do we live in a broken world without losing faith in one another or ourselves? And how do we stay true to those glorious souls we have lost?

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Testimonials


“A stunning work of art that reminds readers Alvarez is, and always has been, in a class of her own.”

Elizabeth Acevedo, National Book Award-winning author of The Poet X

“The queen is back with the exact novel we need in this fraught era. A powerful testament of witness and humanity written with audacity and authority.”

Luis Alberto Urrea, bestselling author of The House of Broken Angels

“Ravishing and heartfelt, Afterlife explores the complexities of familial devotion and tragedy against a backdrop of a world in crisis, and the ways in which we struggle to maintain hope, faith, compassion and love. This is Julia Alvarez at her best and most personal.”

Jonathan Santlofer, author of The Widower's Notebook

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About the author


Julia Alvarez left the Dominican Republic for the United States in 1960 at the age of ten. She is the author of six novels, three books of nonfiction, three collections of poetry, and eleven books for children and young adults. She has taught and mentored writers in schools and communities across America and, until her retirement in 2016, was a writer-in-residence at Middlebury College. Her work has garnered wide recognition, including a Latina Leader Award in Literature from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature, the Woman of the Year by Latina magazine, and inclusion in the New York Public Library’s program “The Hand of the Poet: Original Manuscripts by 100 Masters, from John Donne to Julia Alvarez.” In the Time of the Butterflies, with over one million copies in print, was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts for its national Big Read program, and in 2013 President Obama awarded Alvarez the National Medal of Arts in recognition of her extraordinary storytelling.


Reviews

“A gorgeously intimate portrait of an immigrant writer and recent widow carving out hope in the face of personal and political grief.”

O, The Oprah Magazine

“A sweeping tour de force . . . one of the most significant Latina writers of her time.”

Entertainment Weekly

“The bestselling Dominican American author of In the Time of the Butterflies tackles weighty issues with a nice touch of humor in her new novel (which is on the shorter side, for anyone not in the mood for a big read).”

AARP.org

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