“Esta novela oportuna, arrancada de los titulares de los diarios, transmite un mensaje positivo acerca de la cooperación y la comprensión”.
—School Library Journal
La familia de Mari se encuentra a la deriva, con una gran necesidad de trabajo, pero se ve forzada a esconderse por miedo a que las autoridades los devuelvan a México y a la pobreza.
La familia de Tyler lucha por salir adelante. Después de un accidente con un tractor que deja la granja que tienen en Vermont al borde de la quiebra, necesitan conseguir gente nueva que trabaje allí, de inmediato.
Conocerse representa un golpe de suerte para ambas familias pues salvan la granja y Mari consigue un nuevo hogar, pero también surgen preguntas. A Tyler lo inquieta la presencia de los trabajadores mexicanos. ¿Son indocumentados? ¿Su propia familia infringió la ley al contratarlos? Mientras que Mari se siente dividida entre sus raíces mexicanas y su nueva vida en Vermont. Le preocupa dejar ir el pasado y hay pedacitos que no quiere soltar…
En una novela llena de esperanza pero sin respuestas fáciles, Julia Alvarez muestra cómo la amistad es capaz de traspasar fronteras.
After Tyler's father is injured in a tractor accident, his family is forced to hire migrant Mexican workers to help save their Vermont farm from foreclosure. Tyler isn’t sure what to make of these workers. Are they undocumented? And what about the three daughters, particularly Mari, the oldest, who is proud of her Mexican heritage but also increasingly connected her American life. Her family lives in constant fear of being discovered by the authorities and sent back to the poverty they left behind in Mexico. Can Tyler and Mari find a way to be friends despite their differences?
In a novel full of hope, but no easy answers, Julia Alvarez weaves a beautiful and timely story that will stay with readers long after they finish it.
Julia Álvarez vivió su infancia en República Dominicana hasta 1960, cuando emigró a los Estados Unidos. Luego de obtener sus títulos de pregrado y postgrado en literatura y creación literaria, enseñó poesía durante muchos años y publicó su primer libro de poemas, Homecoming, en 1984. Ha recibido becas del Fondo Nacional para las Artes y de la Fundación Ingram Merrill. De cómo las muchachas García perdieron el acento recibió el premio PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles en 1991, que se entrega a obras que presentan un punto de vista multicultural. En la actualidad, enseña literatura inglesa en Middlebury College.
Julia Alvarez is the author of several novels for young readers including How Tía Lola Came to Visit Stay, Finding Miracles, and Before We Were Free, winner of the ALA’s Pura Belpré Award. Her books for adults include How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, In the Time of the Butterflies, and Once Upon a Quinceañera. She is a writer-in-residence at Middlebury College in Vermont.
Julia Alvarez was born in New York City during her Dominican parents' "first and failed" stay in the United States. While she was still an infant, the family returned to the Dominican Republic -- where her father, a vehement opponent of the Trujillo dictatorship, resumed his activities with the resistance. In 1960, in fear for their safety, the Alvarezes fled the country, settling once more in New York.
Alvarez has often said that the immigrant experience was the crucible that turned her into a writer. Her struggle with the nuances of the English language made her deeply conscious of the power of words, and exposure to books and reading sharpened both her imagination and her storytelling skills. She graduated summa cum laude from Middlebury College in 1971, received her M.F.A. from Syracuse University, and spent the next two decades in the education field, traveling around the country with the poetry-in-the-schools program and teaching English and Creative Writing to elementary, high school, and college students.
Alvarez's verse began to appear in literary magazines and anthologies, and in 1984, she published her first poetry collection, Homecoming. She had less success marketing her novel -- a semiautobiographical story that traced the painful assimilation of a Dominican family over a period of more than 30 eventful years. A series of 15 interconnected stories that unfold in reverse chronological order, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents addresses, head-on, the obstacles and challenges immigrants face in adapting to life in a new country.
It took some time for "ethnic" literature to gain enough of a foothold in the literary establishment for Alvarez's agent, a tireless champion of minority authors, to find a publisher. But when the novel was released in 1991, it received strongly positive reviews. And so, at the tender age of 41, Alvarez became a star. Three years later, she proved herself more than a "one-hit wonder," when her second novel, In the Time of Butterflies was nominated for the prestigious National Book Critics Circle Award. Since then, she has made her name as a writer of remarkable versatility, juggling novels, poetry, children's books, and nonfiction with equal grace and aplomb. She lives in Vermont, where she serves as a writer in residence at her alma mater, Middlebury College. In addition, she and her husband run a coffee farm in the Dominican Republic that hosts a school to teach the local farmers and their families how to read and write.
Good To Know
From 1975 until 1978, Alvarez served as Poet-in-the-Schools in Kentucky, Delaware, and North Carolina.
She has held positions as a professor of creative writing and English at Phillips Andover Academy in Massachusetts (1979-81), the University of Vermont (1981-83), and the University of Illinois (1985-88).
In 1984, Alvarez was the Jenny McKean Moore Visiting Writer at George Washington University. Currently, she is a professor of English at Middlebury College.
She and her husband run a coffee farm, Alta Gracia, in the Dominican Republic.