1st Edition

Deysi, Gender, and Violence Making a Life Under Democracy and Dictatorship

By Ana Liberato Copyright 2025
    250 Pages 45 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book shares the life narrative of Deysi Quiñones to shed light on the intricate relationship between her life and the wider cultural, political, social, and historical contexts of the Dominican Republic. 

    Deysi’s life narrative is a microhistory that sheds light on the intersection of gender, violence, and poverty under the Trujillo regime and in its wake. Her story recovers pieces of rural life, which has been disrupted, transformed, and made less visible by the neoliberal order. It emphasizes the significance of expanding the Trujillo regime archive to encompass a broader spectrum of perspectives and attract more scholarly attention to Petán Trujillo’s legacies. Deysi’s life story can provide meaningful lessons and insights for today in the realm of gendered violence and children’s exploitation.

    This book is intended as reading for sociology, gender and women’s studies, history, Latin American politics, and Caribbean and Latin American Studies courses and for a general educated audience. The book intersects with topics that are widely covered in research in the humanities and social sciences and is appropriate for both advanced undergraduate and graduate courses. The book can appeal to human rights activists, novelists, and individuals and organizations interested in history, politics, authoritarian societies, and gendered violence.

    List of figures

    List of tables

    List of abbreviations




    Chapter 1: Introduction

    Gender and Violence: La Vida Trágica de una Niña


    Chapter 2: “Fate” and “Trauma”: The Creation of a Life Story

    Spawned from Herminia’s Whim

    The Curse

    More Evidence

    With Papa’s Gun

    Running Scared

    Unfathomable: The Abandonment

    Crushing Events

    Bad Decision- Makers

    Almost Raped

    The Ultimate Betrayal of Trust

    Moments of Joy

    Author’s Corner: Perspectives and Interpretations


    Chapter 3: Echoes of Fate and Trauma: From Childhood to Adolescence

    Work and Punishment and no Love

    Sick and Slandered

    Fear and Obedience

    A Teacher Makes a Difference

    Finding God and Safety

    A Predator Father

    First Love

    Dangerous Beauty

    “Sold” to Petán

    Learning to Please Petán

    Author’s Corner: Perspectives and Interpretations


    Chapter 4: Being One of Petán’s Women in Bonao

    Power and Fear

    Intimacy with Petán

    Special Conversation

    Beauty and Glamour

    The Other Women

    The End of the Affair

    God and Survival

    Leaving Bonao

    Making Sense of the Petán

    Beaten Up

    Saying Goodbye to Mercedita

    Returning to Bonao

    Author’s Corner: Perspectives and Interpretations


    Chapter 5: The Warrior Mother: he Warrior Woman

    Gualey 1961-1965

    Love, Loss, Work, and Motherhood

    The Greatest Joy

    Herminia’s Love

    Motherhood, Marital Conflict and Entrepreneurship

    My Brother’s Assassination

    Life in Santiago: 1972-1977

    A Hard Knock Life

    Back in Capotillo: 1977-1983

    Guarícano (1983- ) New Beginnings and New Challenges

    Author’s Corner: Perspectives and Interpretations


    Chapter 6: Contemplations and Reckonings


    Chapter 7: Epilogue





    Ana S.Q. Liberato is Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies Program at the University of Kentucky. She was born and raised in the Dominican Republic.  She is the author of Joaquín Balaguer, Memory, and Diaspora: The Lasting Political Legacies of an American Protégé (2013). Her research interests include inequalities of race, gender and class, political sociology, international migration, and cultural studies.