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Books to Read While Vacationing in the Dominican Republic


One of the best ways to truly absorb the culture and appreciate the beauty of people from a different land is to read stories written by native authors or that are set in that country. There are a good number of books from Dominican authors that will open a window into the hearts and minds of the Dominican people. more...


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One of the best ways to truly absorb the culture and appreciate the beauty of people from a different land is to read stories written by native authors or that are set in that country. There are a good number of books from Dominican authors that will open a window into the hearts and minds of the Dominican people. You might also enjoy reading a story that takes place exactly where you are visiting. Here are some titles that you can enjoy on you trip to the Dominican Republic.

  • Caribbean, by James A. Michener
    This historical fiction novel follows the classic style of author James A. Michener. It’s a series of sagas that chronicle the lives of people living in the Caribbean from 1310 all the way up to 1990’s. Characters include native Indians, famous historical figures and purely fictional individuals all interlaced to tell the captivating story of several generations.

    The parts pertaining to the Dominican Republic include to tale of the original inhabitants of Hispaniola the Taínos the Arawak and the Caribs, Columbus’ brutal and pitiless takeover of the island and the Haitian Revolution. The stories related during the seven hundred years of history covered by the novel shed light on the customs and traditions that are still present to this day in the Dominican Republic.

  • How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, by Julia Alvarez
    This touching story -that received a PEN Oakland award- is related by Dominican-American novelist Julia Alvarez who lived in the Dominican Republic during historic times. She uses her first-hand knowledge to create the emotive tale of four Dominican sisters that were forced to immigrate to the United States because their father opposed the Dominican Republic’s most severe dictator: Rafael Leónidas Trujillo. The psychological and moral growth of the four main characters can be observed in as each ones perspective is used to narrate the story.

  • Praises and Offenses, Poems by Aida Cartagena Portalatín, Angela Hernández Núñez and Ylonka Nacidit-Perdomo, Translated by Judith Kerman
    This book is a collection of poems written by three Dominican women that provides insight on what it is like today to be a woman living in the Dominican Republic. These works give the reader a glimpse into the soul of the Dominican woman, her struggles, beliefs, and convictions.

  • What About Your Saucepans?, by Lindsay de Feliz
    This is the firsthand account of an expatriate who marries a Dominican. It is an unbelievable story that unmasks the corruption in Dominican politics while at the same time highlighting the warmth and love of the Dominican people and culture. A unique narrative told from a unique viewpoint.

  • Little Heroes: Boys of the Barrio, by Raimund Johannes Wild
    This is the heart-wrenching tale of a 10 year old boy that lives in a ghetto of the Dominican Republic. He doesn’t know how to read and works shining shoes; however his life changes when he meets an American visitor. As their lives overlap and intermingle, hope is found.

  • The Farming of Bones,by Edwidge Danticat
    The tender and sad tale of how two Haitians are separated during the massacre of 1937, the challenges they face working in the sugar cane fields.

    So if you plan on spending some time on a lounge chair by the ocean under a big umbrella with a good book, why not make it one that will bring you closer to the people and culture of your destination? Some other good picks of books set in the Dominican Republic include: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Díaz; The feast of the Goat, by Mario Vargas Llosa and The Color of my Words, by Lynn Joseph.

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