Alive in Their Garden
The True Story of the Mirabal Sisters and Their Fight for Freedom

Dedé Mirabal, Translated and Edited by Ana E. Martínez and Heather Hennes

Introduction by Julia Alvarez
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Available for pre-order. This book will be available February, 2025

The lives and legacy of the iconic Mirabal sisters, as told in an intimate memoir by the sister who survived  
“This is the book I wish I’d had on hand as I was writing In the Time of the Butterflies.”—From the introduction by Julia Alvarez  
“This translation offers an important contribution to the study of dictatorship, both in the Dominican Republic and beyond, but also to our understanding of bearing witness to tragedy, the challenges of memory, and the legacies of resistance.”—Elizabeth Manley, author of The Paradox of Paternalism: Women and the Politics of Authoritarianism in the Dominican Republic  
“An emotionally compelling testimony. Alive in Their Garden adds to scholarship on post-dictatorship witnessing and memorialization, and it adds to the underrepresented women’s view of the violence of dictatorship in the Dominican Republic.”—Barbara Riess, Allegheny College  
In 1960, the three sisters Patria, Minerva, and María Teresa Mirabal, code-named “Las Mariposas” (The Butterflies) by a Dominican underground resistance movement, were assassinated by order of dictator Rafael Trujillo. Alive in Their Garden is the memoir of Dedé Mirabal, their surviving sister, who for decades kept her sisters alive in Dominican memory. This is the first English translation of Dedé’s story, an intimate account of a tragedy and the international outcry that, for many, heralded the fall of the Trujillo dictatorship.
In her memoir, Dedé recollects her sisters’ lives and personalities, the optimistic beginning of the 14th of June Revolutionary Movement, and the tragic day of her sisters’ murders. She details the emotionally charged court proceedings that followed and the impact these events had not only on the Mariposas’ children and family, but on the world. Along her journey, Dedé grapples with the question, “Why did they not kill you too?” And as time goes on, she comes to recognize her own important role: raising her sisters’ children alongside her own and working to preserve the memory of a generation.
This edition features the memoir’s original introduction by Julia Alvarez, author of In the Time of the Butterflies, a chronology by historian Bernardo Vega, and an afterword by Minerva’s daughter Minou Tavárez Mirabal. Adding a preface and explanatory notes that orient readers to the Trujillato in the Dominican Republic, translators and editors Ana Martínez and Heather Hennes bring a moving true story and valuable piece of history to new readers.  
Dedé Mirabal (1925-2014) was the surviving sister of Patria, Minerva, and María Teresa Mirabal and the founder of the Mirabal Sisters Foundation and the Mirabal Sisters House Museum. Ana (Nani) E. Martínez is a journalist, translator, and interpreter living in the Dominican Republic. Heather Hennes, professor of Spanish at Saint Joseph’s University, is the translator of The Letters of Minerva Mirabal and Manolo Tavárez: Love and Resistance in the Time of Trujillo.  
Publication of this work made possible by a Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  

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