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.
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Date of Birth:
March 27, 1950
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
B.A., Middlebury College, 1971; M.F.A., Syracuse University, 1975
Prize from Academy of American Poetry, 1974; Third Woman Press Award, 1986
|The Best Book to Read First|
|How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents|
Alvarez's first work of fiction follows the Garcia girls -- four lively Latina sisters who are taken out of their pampered lives in Santo Domingo to live with their family in the Big Apple. Fellow author Gloria Naylor observed, "A major achievement.... A family presented with such eloquence and such profound honesty you want to claim them as yours."
|A Writer's Rituals|
|In an interview with The Atlantic in 2000, Alvarez talked about some of her writing rituals. "I find it virtually impossible to write in the Dominican Republic," she explained. "First off, until recently, I didn't have my own place down there. And I agree very much with what Isaac Bashevis Singer said about the writer -- 'a writer needs an address, very badly needs an address.' You've got to be settled down in some place in order to be able to travel to some other place on paper."
|Photo by Bill Eichner||