The Butterfly Prison


The Butterfly Prison is a tapestry of vignettes that tells the hushed-up, little stories that unfold within a world characterized by diminishment and shame, the stories of the disenfranchised, the stories of Paz and Mella.

As each fights for dignity in the shadows of poverty, harassment and exploitation, their decisions tell a compelling story of choice, consequence, systematic injustice, and the inner magic of the human constitution.

Tender and thought provoking, unusual and rule-breaking, The Butterfly Prison bites and delights as it redefines our notions of beauty, freedom, heroes, criminals, and war.

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SKU: 9780692449264 Category:


“With unsettling metaphors and an intense narrative thread, Tamara Pearson makes you work for it. But you’ll be glad you did. This is a genuinely original and tender insight into the forgotten lives and dreams that long to break through the cracks in the paving stones of our broken societies.” – Iain Bruce, Film maker, journalist, and author of various nonfiction books including The Porto Alegre Alternative: Direct Democracy in Action

“In language that bounces and jabs like a prize fighter, Tamara Pearson has given us a novel that mixes unforgettable stories with the politics of power. Supremely readable and supremely insightful.” -Greg Palast, author of the New York Times bestsellers, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy

“Pearson’s writing is poetic, haunting, and acidic. In the Butterfly Prison, she interweaves compelling characters with the much larger issues of war, ecological collapse, and human suffering. The Butterfly Prison is a meditation on the similarities and differences of the prisons that people are forced to live in and the ways that they resist their imprisonment. This is a story about the power of human creativity in the face of indifference and violence. It is a reminder of the importance of imagination and creating new stories as weapons against evil and self-annihilation. “- Mai’a Williams, co-editor of Revolutionary Mothering

“This is a novel that talks about the hardest things, and in such an engrossing way. The character Paz just blew me away. “- Michael Fox, co-director of documentary Beyond Elections: Redefining Democracy in the Americas and co-author of both Venezuela Speaks!: Voices from the Grassroots and Latin America’s Turbulent Transitions

“Tamara Pearson has drawn upon her extensive experience observing Latin American political movements to write this promising new novel. “- George Ciccariello-Maher, author of We Created Chavez: A People’s History of the Venezuelan Revolution

“I strongly recommend Tamara Pearson’s novel La Belleza, for its political and social insight, uniqueness, and moving prose. The Butterfly Prison is a powerful novel that has an impact, it will stay relevant for a very long time. ” – Michael Albert, author and co-author of over twenty books, including Looking Forward, Thought Dreams: Radical Theory for the 21st Century, and Parecon: Life after Capitalism.

“In The Butterfly Prison, Tamara Pearson does a fascinating job of injecting political statements into a story about very likeable human beings, victims of social injustice. She is especially effective in her colorful use of words to provide vivid descriptions. “- Steve Ellner, author and editor of a range of non-fiction books, including Rethinking Venezuelan Politics: Class, Polarization and the Ch├ívez Phenomenon

Additional information

Weight 345 g
Dimensions 20.3 × 12.7 × 1.9 cm