book cover of The Cemetery of Untold Stories
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The Cemetery of Untold Stories

(2024)
A novel by

 
 
Literary icon Julia Alvarez, the international bestselling author of In the Time of the Butterflies , returns with an inventive and emotional novel about storytelling that will be an instant classic.Alma Cruz, the celebrated writer at the heart of The Cemetery of Untold Stories , doesn’t want to end up like her friend, a novelist who fought so long and hard to finish a book that it threatened her sanity. So when Alma inherits a small plot of land in the Dominican Republic, her homeland, she has the beautiful idea of turning it into a place to bury her untold stories — literally. She creates a graveyard for the manuscript drafts and revisions, and the characters whose lives she tried and failed to bring to life and who still haunt her.Alma wants her characters to rest in peace. But they have other ideas, and the cemetery becomes a mysterious sanctuary for their true narratives. Filomena, a local woman hired as the groundskeeper, becomes a sympathetic listener as Alma’s characters unspool their secrets. Among them: Bienvenida, the abandoned wife of dictator Rafael Trujillo, consigned to oblivion by history, and Manuel Cruz, a doctor who fought in the Dominican underground and escaped to the United States.The characters defy their author: they talk back to her and talk to one another behind her back, rewriting and revising themselves. The Cemetery of Untold Stories asks: Whose stories get to be told, and whose buried? Finally, Alma finds the meaning she and her characters yearn for in the everlasting vitality of stories.Readers of Isabel Allende’s Violeta and Barbara Kingsolver’s Demon Copperhead will devour Alvarez’s extraordinary new novel about beauty and authenticity, and will be reminded that the stories of our lives are never truly finished, even at the end.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"What a love letter not only to storytelling, but also to the tender, urgent, funny, heartbreaking reasons we tell stories in the first place. This cemetery is a fertile field of rebirth, reawakening, and joy. Every page overflows with delight and wisdom." - Stacey D'Erasmo

"The Cemetery of Untold Stories asks us to consider if our tales will last forever or if they might one day be forever lost. Yet there is nothing to fear or lament in this reality - not when we are soothed by the balm of Alvarez's tender wit and her large-hearted candor. What a blessing to have one of our finest writers assure us that indeed - we are in this story together." - Manuel Muñoz


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