On the Same Page 2023

The Jones Library is holding its 11th On the Same Page community reading program, featuring the novel Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez.

The entire Amherst community is invited to read the book and participate in the related programs offered by the Jones Library. A variety of programs are being offered to enrich the reading experience of this best-selling title and to encourage dialog about the themes the book presents, including a book discussion to delve into the book itself. 

About the Book

It’s 2017, and Olga and her brother are well-known members of the Puerto Rican diaspora in New York City: Olga, a tony wedding planner for Manhattan’s power brokers; Prieto, a popular congressman representing their gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood. Years ago, their mother, Blanca, abandoned them to work underground for the island’s independence. Now, in the wake of the most devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico’s history, Blanca has come barreling back into their lives.

A Best Book of 2022 by The New York Times, Kirkus, NPR, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, Vogue, Audible, Esquire, The BBC, and more!

Reviews of Olga Dies Dreaming

"Packed with richly imagined characters and vivacious prose, the novel asks how we can live meaningful lives in a world rife with inequality." ~ Esquire

“This debut book is a gossipy, funny NYC novel with a multigenerational queer and straight cast of characters you feel like you know, layered on top of a Puerto Rican political and historical thriller [with] secrets, ethics, power, identity, activism, love, guilt, and healing." ~ NPR

Obtaining a Copy

Paperback copies of the book are available to borrow at the Jones Library Reference Desk and at both branches. Borrow an e-book or e-audio through Overdrive / Libby. Purchase your own copy at Amherst Books in downtown Amherst.

Schedule of Events

  • The public is welcome at all events – it is not necessary to have read the book to attend the programs, although it is encouraged.
  • All events are free and open to the public. 

Saturday, March 11 at 3:00 p.m. – Jones Library Woodbury Room

Documentary Screening: Landfall – Through shard-like glimpses of everyday life in post-Hurricane María Puerto Rico, Landfall is a cautionary tale for our times. Set against the backdrop of protests that toppled the governor in 2019, the film offers a prismatic portrait of collective trauma and resistance as Puerto Ricans navigate dismantled social services and newcomers eager to profit.

Thursday, March 16 at 7:00 p.m. – Jones Library Woodbury Room

Book Discussion of Olga Dies Dreaming – Join Jones Library staff member Linda Wentworth for an in-depth discussion of our selected title.

Saturday, March 18 at 3:00 p.m.

Puerto Ricans Making the Valley Home – In this talk, Maria Cartagena addresses the migration of Puerto Ricans to Holyoke and throughout the Valley. She will answer questions like why Holyoke? Why the Valley? She will speak to the deep activist history of Puerto Ricans in the Valley, the desegregation of schools, the shift in the political climate, and making the Valley home. Maria is a storyteller, cultural educator, activist, and self-proclaimed social scientist.

Maria Salgado-Cartagena is known as the People’s Historian of Holyoke, working to ensure the visibility of Puerto Ricans in the city’s vibrant past and present. Maria served 7 years at Hampshire College as the Director of The Lebron-Wiggins-Pran Cultural Center. Currently, she is the Director of Community Engagement at Mount Holyoke College.

Saturday, March 25 at 3:00 p.m. – Jones Library Woodbury Room

Puerto Rico's Past, Present, and Possible Futures – This brief presentation will begin with an overview of Puerto Rico's anticolonial movements under Spain and the United States, proceed with a summary of today's political and cultural landscape, and conclude by considering how community-based organizations are testing and advancing decolonial futures for Puerto Ricans on the island and in the diaspora. 

Paul Schroeder Rodriguez is R. John Cooper '64 Presidential Teaching Professor of Spanish at Amherst College, where he also teaches in the Latinx and Latin American Studies and Film & Media Studies Departments. 

Author Event

Tuesday, March 28 at 7:00 pm – Amherst Regional Middle School Auditorium

On the Same Page with Xochitl Gonzalez 
Join us for an exciting in-person evening with author Xochitl Gonzalez, as she reads from and discusses her debut novel Olga Dies Dreaming.
On the Same Page Amherst
Olga Dies Dreaming
Xochitl Gonzalez

About the Author

Xochitl Gonzalez is a cultural critic, producer, screenwriter, and the New York Times bestselling author of Olga Dies Dreaming. Named a Best of 2022 by the New York Times, TIME, Kirkus, Washington Post, and NPR, Olga Dies Dreaming was a Barnes & Noble Discover Pick, an Indie Next Pick, an Amazon and Apple Featured Debut, and the winner of the Brooklyn Public Library Book Prize in Fiction. Gonzalez is a 2021 M.F.A. graduate from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow and the recipient of the Michener-Copernicus Fellowship for Fiction. She was the winner of the 2019 Disquiet Literary Prize and her non-fiction work has been published in Elle Decor, Allure, Vogue, Real Simple, and The Cut. Her work as a staff writer for The Atlantic has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.