Julia Alvarez cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Julia Alvarez

Dominican-American poet, novelist, essayist

1950   -  

country of citizenship: Dominican Republic, United States of America
languages spoken, written or signed: Spanish, English
educated at: Syracuse University, Middlebury College, Phillips Academy
occupation: poet, novelist, writer, children's writer
award received: PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award, National Medal of Arts, Belpré Medal, Américas Award

Julia Alvarez (born March 27, 1950) is a Dominican-American New Formalist poet, novelist, and essayist. She rose to prominence with the novels How the García Girls Lost Their Accents (1991), In the Time of the Butterflies (1994), and Yo! (1997). Her publications as a poet include Homecoming (1984) and The Woman I Kept to Myself (2004), and as an essayist the autobiographical compilation Something to Declare (1998). Many literary critics regard her to be one of the most significant Latina writers and she has achieved critical and commercial success on an international scale. Julia Alvarez has also written several books for younger readers. Her first picture book for children was "The Secret Footprints" published in 2002. Alvarez has gone on to write several other books for young readers, including the "Tía Lola" book series.Born in New York, she spent the first ten years of her childhood in the Dominican Republic, until her father's involvement in a political rebellion forced her family to flee the country. Many of Alvarez's works are influenced by her experiences as a Dominican-American, and focus heavily on issues of immigration, assimilation, and identity. She is known for works that examine cultural expectations of women both in the Dominican Republic and the United States, and for rigorous investigations of cultural stereotypes. In recent years, Alvarez has expanded her subject matter with works such as 'In the Name of Salomé (2000)', a novel with Cuban rather than solely Dominican characters and fictionalized versions of historical figures. In addition to her successful writing career, Alvarez is the current writer-in-residence at Middlebury College.
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