Julia Alvarez

Dominican-American novelist, essayist, and poet. Author of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents and In the Time of the Butterflies

Monday, May 8, 2017

Born in New York, Julia Alvarez 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. Alvarez rose to prominence with the novels How the Garcia 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. Alvarez’s awards include the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award and most recently, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama. Alvarez is currently a writer in residence at Middlebury College. In 1997, with her husband Bill Eichner, she established Alta Gracia, a sustainable coffee farm and literacy center in the Dominican Republic.

“In telling this story (How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents), Alvarez treats the subjects of immigration, exile, Hispanic culture and the American Dream with a sensitive and often irreverent touch.” – Washington Post