On Thursday, April 11 at 7:00 pm, the Scotch Plains Public Library will present a lecture in which  Grisel López-Díaz  of New Jersey City University  will explore the female characters in Julia Alvarez' novels. Although the focus will be on the four Mirabal sisters from our Big Read novel, In the Time of the Butterflies, references will be made to other characters in this author's novels. The characters will be discussed in the context of the Dominican Republic during the Trujillo regime and the Dominican community in exile in New York. The  cultural and social expectations of women, both in the Dominican Republic and the United States,  will be examined using excerpts from Julia Alvarez' work.  Attendees will be encouraged to participate throughout the program.

Dr. Grisel López-Díaz is Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Coordinator and Graduate Advisor of the Masters Program in World Language Education at New Jersey City University. She holds a B.A. in Modern Languages from Fordham University, an M.A in Comparative Literature from New York University, and a Ph.D. from Fordham University. Dr. López-Díaz has over thirty-five years of experience in education and school administration. She has served on the Executive Board of New Jersey Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages/Bilingual Educators (NJTESOL) and Foreign Language Educators of New Jersey (FLENJ) where she held the position of President from 2004 through 2006.

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The Big Read is managed by Arts Midwest. Scotch Plains is one of 78 communities nationwide participating in the current Big Read.

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The Big Read partners welcome all participants to the many free events planned through mid-June. More information may be found on the web site of Scotch Plains Public Library (http://www.scotlib.org) and on the library’s Big Read blog (http://bigreadsppl.tumblr.com/ ).