The Other Side/El otro lado


La revisión de libro de los tiempos de Nueva York ha elogiado la ficción de Alvarez's mientras que "powerful... captura maravillosamente la experiencia del umbral del nuevo inmigrante donde no está todavía una memoria el pasado y el futuro sigue siendo un dream." ansioso; Estas mismas calidades caracterizan su poes'a - del "Making encima del Past" poemas, que exploran una vida del exilio según lo vivido por una muchacha joven, a los poemas de Joe del "The, " una serie maravillosamente de poemas sensual y ...

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La revisión de libro de los tiempos de Nueva York ha elogiado la ficción de Alvarez's mientras que "powerful... captura maravillosamente la experiencia del umbral del nuevo inmigrante donde no está todavía una memoria el pasado y el futuro sigue siendo un dream." ansioso; Estas mismas calidades caracterizan su poes'a - del "Making encima del Past" poemas, que exploran una vida del exilio según lo vivido por una muchacha joven, a los poemas de Joe del "The, " una serie maravillosamente de poemas sensual y divertidos del amor que celebran un romance de mediana edad. La colección culmina en el poema del título de la veinte-uno-parte sobre la vuelta de poet's a su República Dominicana nativa y a la afirmación interna del conflicto y última que el viaje ocasion-. La innovación y la invención en negrilla, la interacción del sonido, el sentido, y el ritmo de dos idiomas, todas caracterizan el arte de Julia Alvarez's en transformar memoria preciosa en poes'a unforgettable.

The acclaimed author of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents and In the Time of the Butterflies demonstrates the full range of her extraordinary talents in this new collection of poetry. Alvarez's imaginative integration of Spanish words and Latin rhythms into her poetry, in both sound and sense, memorably reflects her struggle to find and express her true self.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Widely known for her novels, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents and In the Time of the Butterflies, Latina author Alvarez claims her authority as a poet with this collection. Tracing a lyrical journey through the landscape of immigrant life, these direct, reflective and often sensuous poems are grouped into five sections which, like the points of a star, indicate a circle. Alvarez begins with ``Bilingual Sestina,'' a meditation on leaving her native Dominican Republic for an alien land and strange language. She ends with the title poem ``The Other Side/El Otro Lado,'' a long, multipart narrative recounting her return to her homeland as a woman transformed-translated-by the years she has lived in America from native to guest. The speaker may claim ``There is nothing left to cry for,/ nothing left but the story/ of our family's grand adventure/ from one language to another,'' but this poetry resonates precisely because that story embodies larger questions about self-identity. A meticulous examination of self-evolution, Alvarez's assured collection reveals that change can take us across borders so slowly that only on reaching the other side can we see the distances we've come. (June)
Library Journal
Alvarez (author of one of LJ's Best Books, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, LJ 5/1/91) writes poems as impressive as her fiction. In the opening sequence, writing of a loving maid and governess, she portrays with graceful simplicity the world of haves and have nots suggested in the duality we find in the title. Whereas poets from similar backgrounds-uprooted, mocked-write bitterly of the past and ambivalently of the future, Alvarez optimistically sets about "Making Up the Past." As the poems move from childhood memories to adult realities, they become less succinct, less headed toward closure. Lines stretch out. Anger enters. The setting of the long title sequence is ironic: at an artist's colony not far from her native town, the author suffers in the midst of a lengthy writer's block as she is joined by a lover she's not sure she loves. Yet she reaches out, in the final poem, not to all the people she might have been but toward the mute girl. Recommended for all poetry collections.-Rochelle Ratner, formerly Poetry Editor, "Soho Weekly News," New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452273412
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/1996
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 1,423,635
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Julia Alvarez
With her vivid tales of growing up between the two disparate cultures of the Dominican Republic and the United States, Julia Alvarez has drawn comparisons to writers ranging from Jane Austen to Gabriel García Márquez. However, its is Alvarez's fresh, vivid voice that sets her apart, and speaks to fans from both cultures.


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.

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    1. Hometown:
      Middlebury, Vermont
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 27, 1950
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., Middlebury College, 1971; M.F.A., Syracuse University, 1975

Table of Contents

Bilingual Sestina 3
Audition 7
Gladys Singing 10
Mami and Gauguin 12
Grace 15
Proof 18
Abandoned 20
Exile 25
Papi Working 29
Queens, 1963 31
New World 34
Sound Bites 39
On Not Shoplifting Louise Bogan's: The Blue Estuaries 45
Between Dominica and Ecuador 48
Beginning Again 52
Making Up the Past 55
First Love Letter 61
Touchstone 64
Going Back to Sleep 68
Bookmaking 71
Anatomy Lesson 74
Monkey Business 79
The Last Love Story 84
Missing Missives 89
Staying Up Alone 93
You Remember the Definitions, Not the Words 98
Home Fires 102
I drove up in Mami's Mercedes 109
Down that mountain, Mike and I hike 111
Mike and I tour Boca 113
I hadn't fit into any of the stories 116
Mike and I pretend we're married 117
Boca's mayor calls Mike over 118
"We also die," says Nana 120
Clairol, the youngest of Nana's girls 122
El profesor Juan Bautista 123
The shy schoolgirl in pigtails 125
The little house is closed up 128
"Tell me," I ask Miguel Angel 130
At his bodega, Leo sells everything 132
Mike and I have our best talks 134
Our brief trip to the capital 135
"Who you love? Who you love?" 137
The old man sleeps like the dead 138
One of los muchos 140
I've met everyone in Boca 143
My last afternoon in Boca 145
I hear Papito calling 148
Estel 153
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