The Woman I Kept to Myself [NOOK Book]

Overview

The works of this award-winning poet and novelist are rich with the language and influences of two cultures: those of the Dominican Republic of her childhood and the America of her youth and adulthood. They have shaped her writing just as they have shaped her life. In these seventy-five autobiographical poems, Alvarez’s clear voice sings out in every line. Here, in the middle of her life, she looks back as a way of understanding and celebrating the woman she has become. ...
See more details below
The Woman I Kept to Myself

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 29%)$14.95 List Price

Overview

The works of this award-winning poet and novelist are rich with the language and influences of two cultures: those of the Dominican Republic of her childhood and the America of her youth and adulthood. They have shaped her writing just as they have shaped her life. In these seventy-five autobiographical poems, Alvarez’s clear voice sings out in every line. Here, in the middle of her life, she looks back as a way of understanding and celebrating the woman she has become.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Author of the popular novels How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents and In the Time of the Butterflies, Alvarez continues to explore themes of cultural difference and personal experience in her new collection of poems. The book, which marks her fourth collection of poetry, comprises 75 poems of 30 lines each; the formal constraint is an organizing principle for these sometimes meandering autobiographical poems. A good many poems explore her development and status as a writer, specifically as a Latina: "Even I, childless one, intend to write/ New Yorker fiction in the Cheever style / but all my stories tell where I came from." The midsection of the book, "The Woman I Kept to Myself," roams from nostalgic reflections on childhood birthday presents to meditations on eating disorders to speedily resolved family conflicts to personal, and worldwide, losses: "Why did it take so long? Mom and Dad's deaths/ a friend's cancer, a cousin's accident/ the Twin Towers, the war on innocents...." Seeing the first signs of spring sets the world to rights again: "Then suddenly, a daffodil, a patch/ of crocuses... and back into the intact Towers flew/ stick figures, like a film in reverse." Most poems here arrive at similar recastings of hard truths; often, however, one feels that both sides of the equation are too easily won, drawing close to clich and facile reconciliation: "I've woken to the world just as it is," she writes, "and that's enough-in fact, more than enough." (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Quotidian events, a storylike structure, and colloquial diction make Alvarez's latest book seem more like a memoir (albeit one written with attention to the sounds of language, especially alliteration) than a book of poetry. The author of four novels (including In the Time of the Butterflies, a National Book Award finalist), Alvarez at her best writes in a style reminiscent of Billy Collins. There are deceptively simple conversational poems, like "Saman" and several others here, which resonate in a bright mesh of metaphors. Yet most of the work in this collection does not attain that level. Some poems, like "Deathdays" and "All-American Girl," have a greeting-card tone; others go on too long, as if Alvarez were afraid that readers might not have understood the actual ending, which usually occurs in the penultimate stanza. Too many poems (e.g., "Why I Write") rely on clich s, few of which are spun out into gold. Recommended for larger public libraries only.-Diane Scharper, Towson Univ., MD Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-This tightly structured collection of 75 poems is divided into three sections, and each poem has three stanzas, exactly. Alvarez's voice, however, is as free and strong as the free verse she composes. The poet, who is from the Dominican Republic, writes about being raised with her sisters in New York. The subjects are personal-love, marriage, rejection, divorce, death, religion-but also universal. She says in "Why I Write," "Unless I write things down I never know what I think, no less feel." This book will appeal to readers not only for the eloquence with which Alvarez describes her feelings and discoveries, but also for the humor. In "Abbot Academy" she notes that as a schoolgirl she found that ladies "-learned to be blondies even if they were dark-haired, olive-skinned, spic-chicks like me." Readers who enjoyed How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (1992) or In the Time of the Butterflies (1995, both Plume) will love her poetry. Teens approaching adulthood will appreciate the poet who turned to "paper solitude" and through many drafts discovered "the woman I kept to myself."-Sheila Janega, Fairfax County Public Library, Great Falls, VA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
“Charming and intense at the same time, Alvarez writes candidly of epic concerns and everyday realities in this unfailingly lucid collection of autobiographical poems.” —Booklist

“Brave and vivid . . . Seventy-five poems express wonder, anger, grief and joy in clear, accessible narratives.” —The Miami Herald

“The poems are, like precious moments in life, nuggets to be savored and reflected upon.” —The Dallas Morning News

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616200749
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
  • Publication date: 4/5/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 250
  • Sales rank: 663,342
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Julia  Alvarez
Julia Alvarez left the Dominican Republic for the United States in 1960 at the age of ten. She is the author of six novels, two books of nonfiction, three collections of poetry, and eight books for children and young adults. Her work has garnered wide recognition, including a Latina Leader Award in Literature in 2007 from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the 2002 Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature, the
2000 Woman of the Year by Latina magazine, and inclusion in the New York Public Library’s 1996 program “The Hand of the Poet: Original Manuscripts by 100 Masters, from John Donne to Julia Alvarez.” A writer-in-residence at Middlebury College, Alvarez and her husband, Bill Eichner, established Alta Gracia, an organic coffee farm–literacy arts center, in her homeland, the Dominican Republic.

Biography

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.

Read More Show Less
    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

Family tree 3
Saman 5
Weeping willow 7
Maple, oak, or elm 9
Arborvitae 11
Locust 13
Last trees 15
Intimations of mortality from a recollection in early childhood 19
Anger & art 21
El fotografo 23
The red pickup 25
Spic 27
All-American girl 29
Bellevue 31
Abbot Academy 33
By accident 35
Vain doubts 37
First muse 39
Lunch hour, 1971 41
Heartland 43
Bad-weather friends 45
Sisterhoods 47
Reunion 49
My bottom line 51
Love portions 53
Fights 55
Tone 57
Hairbands 59
Manholes 61
Canons 63
My kind of woman 65
Museo del Hombre 67
Ars politica 69
Naming the animals 71
The animals review pictures of a vanished race 73
Why don't we ever see Jesus laughing? 75
Addison's vision 77
Winter storm 79
The therapist 81
Disappearing 83
Gaining my self back 85
That moment 87
Signs 89
Deathdays 91
All's clear 93
Now, when I look at women 95
At the GYN 97
Grand baby 99
Life lines 101
Spring, at last! 103
Regreso 105
In Spanish 107
You 109
Leaving English 111
Meditation 113
Aficionados 115
Touching bottom 117
Cleaning ladies 119
Tom 121
I dream of Allen Ginsberg 123
Famous poet, years afterward 125
Why I teach 127
Undercover poet 129
Small portions 131
"Poetry makes nothing happen"? 133
Reading for pleasure 135
Direct address 137
Passing on 139
El sereno 143
Looking up 145
What we ask for 147
What was it that I wanted? 149
Keeping watch 151
Why I write 153
Did I redeem myself? 155
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)