eBook - 2020
Average Rating:
Rate this:

A Most-Anticipated Book of the Year: O, The Oprah Magazine * The New York Times * The Washington Post *Vogue * Bustle * BuzzFeed * Ms. Magazine *The Millions * The Huffington Post * PopSugar * The LilyGoodreads * Library Journal * LitHub * Electric Literature
The first adult novel in almost fifteen years by the internationally bestselling author of In the Time of the Butterflies and How the García Girls Lost Their Accents
“A stunning work of art that reminds readers Alvarez is, and always has been, in a class of her own.” —Elizabeth Acevedo, National Book Award-winning author of the New York Times bestseller The Poet X

Antonia Vega, the immigrant writer at the center of Afterlife, has had the rug pulled out from under her. She has just retired from the college where she taught English when her beloved husband, Sam, suddenly dies. And then more jolts: her bighearted but unstable sister disappears, and Antonia returns home one evening to find a pregnant, undocumented teenager on her doorstep. Antonia has always sought direction in the literature she loves—lines from her favorite authors play in her head like a soundtrack—but now she finds that the world demands more of her than words.
Afterlife is a compact, nimble, and sharply droll novel. Set in this political moment of tribalism and distrust, it asks: What do we owe those in crisis in our families, including—maybe especially—members of our human family? How do we live in a broken world without losing faith in one another or ourselves? And how do we stay true to those glorious souls we have lost?


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Apr 26, 2020

If we ever needed a book to give us hope, now is the time. We’re stuck at home worried about a virus and here to entertain us and teach us is Antonia, a Dominican Republic immigrant living in Vermont. She lost her husband, the town doctor a year ago. She is a retired English professor trying to keep her own life sane. Living next door is a grumpy Vermont dairyman who has two illegal Mexicans working for him, and of course, no gringo can distinguish between Latin cultures. Complicating her life is the pregnant girlfriend of one of the Mexican immigrants and her sisters who are worried about the missing older sister. If you have ever struggled and feel that just figuring out your own personal problems is all you can handle, you’ll understand Antonia. The ending chapter is perfect in showing how even though we are broken, we can put our lives back together incorporating the pain we have experienced.

Apr 02, 2020

Alvarez's charming novel portrays four sisters who could be the Garcia girls confronting maturity with funny yet genuine Latina exuberance and passion. Antonia is completely relatable to those of us of a certain age and experience.

Mar 31, 2020

Please order the audible version


Add a Summary
Apr 02, 2020

Antonia is a retired college professor and novelist who is finding it hard to face life after her husband’s sudden death. In the tranquil Vermont college town where she lives, Antonia’s grieving process is upended when she finds a pregnant, undocumented teenager hiding in her garage, a situation that invites comparison to her own more benign immigration experience. On top of that, older sister Izzy goes missing and her sisters impose on Antonia to help with the search.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at APL

To Top