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Fiction Map of the World- Dominican Republic

by Travelbag on 22 December 2014, 17:12PM

The Dominican Republic is one of the most geographically diverse countries in the Caribbean, with everything from glorious mountain ranges to desert scrublands, colonial architecture, golden beaches and lush, tropical vegetation. It truly is a picture perfect region, so do not hesitate to pack your bags and head off for a winter holiday in this gorgeous slice of paradise.

 
It is one of those places that runs at its own pace – like most of the Caribbean, there is simply no rushing life in the Dominican Republic. Fortunately, there is never any reason to, as everything that you could ever want is here for the taking. This diverse little island is guaranteed to give you a holiday that you certainly won’t forget in a hurry. 
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Essential Holiday Reading
If you are looking to enjoy a redemptive tale of loss and triumph, during your next trip to the Caribbean, pick up the magnificent How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, by Dominican-American poet and novelist Julia Alvarez. This is an expansive, wide ranging narrative, which takes in everything from acculturation, as the result of the necessary adoption of a new culture, to a frank coming of age, as a lost teenager in New York. For those with a penchant for ‘big’ stories, this novel fits perfectly, because it ranges far and wide, but is actually made up of 15 interconnected short stories. It is guaranteed to be a perfect addition to a lazy afternoon at the beach.
 
Notable Dominican Books
A fellow American-Dominican, Junot Diaz, is the author of Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. It is one of the most decorated Dominican novels in modern literary history, and tells the tale of Oscar De Leon, an overweight Dominican boy growing up in New York. As an obsessive science fiction and fantasy fan, Leon is similarly fixated on the idea that there is curse upon his family. This novel explores many different themes, as well as the obvious issues of acculturation and cultural identity – it takes in themes of masculinity, young love, oppression, and even challenges the conventions of storytelling itself.  
 
Notable Dominican Authors
The aforementioned Julia Alvarez comes highly acclaimed in both the Dominican Republic and America, for her literary meditations on youth and cultural identity. Her novel, In the Time of the Butterflies, is another uniquely powerful narrative, which chronicles the tale of the Mirabel sisters, during the time of the Trujillo dictatorship. It is, once again, a deeply powerful book, which was actually made into a feature film in 2001. The confessional Loosing My Espanish, by H.G Carillo, is another deeply intimate novel, which delves into sensitive notions of immigration, class, education, gender and homosexuality, from a Cuban perspective.
   
Notable Dominican Films
It should come as no surprise to find that Hollywood loves to knock at the door of the Dominican Republic, when it needs somewhere lively, vibrant and full of flavour to film. There have been scores of high profile movies filmed in this part of the world – from Fast and Furious to Pirates of the Caribbean, Miami Vice, and even anti-war classic Apocalypse Now. In fact, Francis Ford Coppola must be a particular fan of the Dominican Republic, because he also filmed scenes for the Godfather: Part Two in this most beautiful of locations. For a light hearted look at what this island has to offer, tune into the Fast and Furious, which sees a plot to hijack fuel tankers play out in the Dominican Republic.    
Essential Holiday Listening
If you ever heard Latin sounding beats from the Caribbean, you have probably already been exposed to the sounds of merengue. This popular style of jazz, blues and Latin fusion is widespread in the Dominican Republic, and actually very well-known all across the world. Yet, there is an even more diverse sound to be borne out of merengue, and it is merenhouse – also known as merenrap. This is a diverse and lively combination of merengue, house, hip hop and bachata. If it sounds like your thing, pick up your iPod and get searching for world renowned Dominican American merengue collective Fulanito, who have topped charts all across the globe.
      
Notable Dominican Musicians
There is a robust and lively music scene in this part of the Caribbean, so you should never be hard pressed for choice – whether you want something to relax with on the beach, or something to dance to at the bar later. For a magnificent example of the latter, take a look at musician and composer Luis Diaz, who combines reggae, jazz, blues, merengue and ethnic rhythms from countries such as Haiti. In fact, Diaz is widely considered to be the godfather of Dominican rock music – the locals have dubbed him The Terror, due to the experimental way that he uses his voice and instruments. For those on the lookout for something a little smoother, check out acclaimed jazz musician Michel Camilo.   

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