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Julia Alvarez came to the U.S. in 1960, a year before the assassination of Gen. Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina, who had ruled as a dictator over her native Dominican Republic since 1930. In her second novel, In the Time of the Butterflies, Alvarez writes from the points of view of four sisters who lived under—and in three cases, were martyred by—the Trujillo regime. At tonight’s reading, she presents a slide show of her homeland, underlining the authenticity of her book’s setting and characters. She’s joined by Texan writer Dagoberto Gilb, whose short story collection The Magic of Blood garnered a 1993 PEN/Faulkner Award nomination and whose recent novel, The Last Known Residence of Mickey Acuña, reconsiders the American cowboy myth. At 8 p.m. at the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Elizabethan Theater, 201 East Capitol St. SE. $12. (202) 544-7077; Alvarez reads alone at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Hyattsville Branch Library, 6530 Adelphi Rd., Hyattsville. (301) 699-3500. (Nathalie op de Beeck)