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7 Books to Read Before Traveling to the Dominican Republic

Planning an escape to the Dominican Republic? If yes, you may want to have a taste of what it’s like before the actual travel date. Book Dominican Republic is the easiest and most intimate way to do so, as you’ll notice in this article.

There is no shortage of incredible literature about the Dominican Republic. Whether it about the wondrous life of Oscar Wao, the feast of the goat, or in the time of the butterflies, stories set in the country you are traveling to will not only give you great insights but will also add a layer of excitement in your planning and actual visit.

Visiting the Dominican Republic is like one big adventure-packed vacation. The beautiful destinations, intriguing fashion, historical museums, and the literature are just enough to make you want to go back every time. There are also plenty of stories about places, people, culture, destination, education, travel, etc., that the locals are familiar with, and are available for visitors like you. This is because most of the stories are captured in books, which are readily available online. In case you are just getting started and have no idea where to start, then here are some books Dominican Republic that will give you a clear perspective of the country before you visit.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

This book, written by Junot Diaz, shares the story of Oscar Wao, a socially awkward Dominican American man who’s trying to uphold his identity and also find love. The narrator, Yunior, who is Oscar’s roommate, highlights all the misfortunes that Oscar encounters throughout his life. He describes how Oscar has a hard time fitting in. The story traces back to Oscar’s mom and granddad during the Rafael Trujillo era. The book also features some elements of magic realism, in addition to its overarching theme of the fuku curse.

In the Time of the Butterflies

A Julia Alvarez’s book that’s a work of historical fiction revolving around the lives of four Mirabal sisters who took part in undercover efforts to overturn Trujillo’s 30+ years of the dictatorial regime in the country. Trujillo ordered the death of three of the sisters, Maria Teresa, Minerva, and Patria. The book depicts the sacrifice and bravery of the Mirabal family. It is a great read that will give you a clear account of how things were back in the 1960s.

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents

Another Julia Alvarez’s book gives voice to four sisters who grew up in two cultures. The Garcia sisters, Sofia, Yolanda, Carla and Sandra, and their entire family have to run away from their home in DR after their dad’s role in the attempt to overthrow the cruel dictator Rafael Trujillo comes to light. In New York, the girls try to fit in by adjusting their dressing, straightening their hair, and losing their Spanish.

The Dominican Republic: A National History

Frank Moya, the author of this book, examines the distinct political periods in the history of the Dominican Republic, including the French, US, Haitian, and Spanish occupation, along with vast periods of self-rule. The book also highlights the social-economic background by connecting dots between political developments and socioeconomic conditions. The updated version of The Dominican Republic: A National History extends the view from 1990 to 2000s with the onset of the collapse of the country’s economy.

Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola

This book by Michele Wucker has incredible insights into Dominican-Haitian relations. Barriers of poverty and geography enclose the Dominican Republic and Haiti. While they have one thing in common – the Caribbean Islands of Hispaniola – their histories and cultures are way different. They speak different languages and have different skin colors. But still, they both share the same national symbol as well as the cockfight activity.

The Feast of the Goat

Urania Cabral, a 49-year-old woman who’s been haunted her entire life by feelings of emptiness and terror, decides to go back to her home in the Dominican Republic. Here, she finds herself living through the same events she did in 1961 when the country’s capital was called Trujillo City. The story by Mario Vargas Llosa highlights how the dictator led and the Machiavellian uprising revolution.

The Farming of Bones

Amabelle Desir, a young Haitian-born woman, living in the Dominican Republic, works as a maid-servant and companion of a wealthy colonel’s wife. She plans to marry Sebastien, a cane worker, but her life falls apart when a wave of genocidal violence, perpetrated by Trujillo, results in the death of Haitian workers. She gets separated from Sebastien and flees back to Haiti, a place she barely remembers.


There are dozens of Dominican Republic books that will help you understand the history and journey of the country. The ones we have listed are just a great place to start.

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