This week’s choice is a book I’ve been looking forward to for a while. It is Afterlife by Julia Alvarez, one of my all-time favorite authors.
Have you ever read In the Time of the Butterflies? My favorite Julia Alvarez novel, it is a powerful story that stays with you long after you finish it. I loved this book so much that I convinced my department head to purchase thirty copies (In my past life when I taught high school English) so that I could teach it to my students. 🙂
Author: Julia Alvarez
Expected Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Genre: Literary Fiction
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?