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Inter.Reading Book Club: Fiction

Montag, 04.10.2021

For this year’s Inter.Reading Book Club many of the participants chose to join the fictional branch, which focusses on Julia Alvarez’s novel “In the Time of the Butterflies”. It tells the story of the Mirabal sisters who fight the dictator General Rafael Leonidas Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. Through Julia Alvarez’s art to tell stories, the Inter.Reading members experience four sisters’ viewpoints on everyday life under Trujillo’s rule. Every other Tuesday, the voracious readers get together and passionately share their interdisciplinary thoughts on intersectional, international and interAmerican topics in the context of Alvarez’s novel. No matter if the sessions are held at the C.IAS or in an online setting due to COVID-19 measurements, the book lovers are fascinated by the powerful combination of fact, fiction, imagination and history within the masterful work. Especially the talk by the Central-American historian Dr. Chrstian Cwik on December 6, 2021 about the Trujillo dictatorship gave the readers the opportunity to link “In the Time of the Butterflies” to its historical context. However, during the vivid discussions the readers do not only engage with the book’s historical context, but also reflect on political, religious, cultural, regional and literary aspects. What makes this year’s Inter.Reading Book Club particularly special are the readers who differ in age, nationality and fields of interests. Besides readers whose main interests belong to the field of humanities, various book lovers find themselves within natural and social sciences too. This interdisciplinary exchange encourages our Inter.Readers to deepen their understanding of literature in numerous contexts. Some of them wanted to share their thoughts on this semester’s book club:

A place to communicate, a place to swap ideas and exchange views. The book club gives me the opportunity to connect with a lot of new, interesting and lovely people who are sharing my love for books. This year is my first year at the book club and I am so glad to get the chance to share my thoughts on this book. “In the time of the butterflies” is especially interesting for me as a law student because I try to make connections about my previous knowledge and Trujillo’s dictatorship. I especially appreciate how different all of us are because I get to look at the fictional novel from different angles instead of primarily looking at the legal aspects, which I would usually do. (Katharina Pritz)

It’s the third time I am part of the book club and it still amazes me how differently all of us read the same book. When my fellow readers share their thoughts on certain chapters, I always think I must have read the wrong part because I do not know what they are talking about. For instance, while I mainly focus on the character development of one of the protagonists, another person puts the story in a religious context and comes to completely different conclusions. But that is exactly why I thoroughly enjoy about our get togethers: it feels like reading a book 30 different times all at once. (Eva Bauer)


If there are any questions or simply would like to know more of this branch of the Inter.Reading Book Club, and/or would like to sign up, please send an email to dagmar.wallenstorfer(at)uni-graz.at

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