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CC: Biography of Julia Alvarez
Transcript of CC: Biography of Julia Alvarez
Creighton Pd. 3 Born on March 29, 1950 in New York City
Moved to the Dominican Republic when she was 3 months old
Father was involved in underground, so family was in trouble. Left the country in 1960 (4 months before the murder of the Mirabal sisters) and went back to America
Caught between two cultures; grew up with both American and Dominican influences
Early life Sent to a boarding school at age 13 and returned to the Dominican Republic every summer
Became devoted reader and writer
Graduated from Abbot Academy in 1967
Initially attended Connecticut College, but transferred to Middlebury in 1969
Earned undergraduate degree at Middlebury College in Vermont (1971)
Master's degree in creative writing at Syracuse University (1975)
Education Traveled across America teaching creative writing for five years
Taught at various high schools and colleges including the University of Vermont, California State College, and the George Washington University in D.C.
Worked as a professor at Middlebury College from 1988-1998 and has been a Writer-in-Residence in the English department since then
Published first novel (How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents) in 1991 Occupation Writing: How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents First novel; published in 1991
Told in reverse chronological order and narrated from shifting perspectives
Time span/perspective: 30+ years in the lives of four sisters (Sofia, Sandra, Yolanda, Carla)
Major themes: Acculturation; coming of age
The Garcia family is displaced to the US, leaving their prominent and wealthy in the Dominican Republic to flee from Trujillo
Challenges of an immigrant family in a foreign land
Writing: In the Time of the Butterflies Published in 1994, adapted into a feature film in 2001
Time span/perspective: 1938-1994 with accounts told from the perspectives of all four sisters
Story of the four Mirabal sisters (Patria, Dede, Minerva, Maria Teresa) under dictatorship of Trujillo in the Domincan Republic
Sisters part of movement to overthrow Trujillo regime
Harassed, persecuted, and imprisoned for rebellion
Three sisters murdered; only Dede survived to tell their story
Mirabal sisters awarded and respected for leadership
Writing: Before We Were Free Published in 2002
Time period/perspective: Early 1960s in the Dominican Republic, told by Anita
Major themes: Coming of age/growing up, oppression, resistance, family
Anita de la Torre = 12 year old girl living in the Dominican Republic
Relatives start moving for the USA or randomly disappear
Anita gradually learns of her family's involvement in a plot to kill Trujillo, the brutal dictator
Watched by the secret police; forced to overcome fears to become free
Unlike other characters in Alvarez's novels, Anita stays behind in the Dominican Republic
Present Day Personal Life Lives in the Champlain Valley in Vermont
Married to Bill Eichner on a farm
Started a sustainable organic coffee farm-literacy center/school with Bill in the Dominican Republic called Alta Gracia (Their project Alvarez's novel "A Cafecito Story"
Continues to occasionally teach, give readings, and offer advice to young writers
Works Cited Alvarez, Julia. "About Me." About Me: Author Julia Alvarez. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2013. <http://www.juliaalvarez.com/about/>.
Before We Were Free Book Cover. Digital image. Julia Alvarez. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.juliaalvarez.com/img/before_we_were_free.jpg>.
"Before We Were Free [Kindle Edition]." Before We Were Free: Julia Alvarez. Amazon, n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2013. <http://www.amazon.com/Before-We-Were-Free-ebook/dp/B000XUBDDA>.
"Biography of Julia Alvarez." Biography of Julia Alvarez. Gradesaver, n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2013. <http://www.gradesaver.com/author/julia-alvarez/>.
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents Book Cover. Digital image. Tumblr. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_me5v6bRIp41qzfnoeo1_400.jpg>.
"How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents Summary." How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents Summary. Gradesaver, n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2013. <http://www.gradesaver.com/how-the-garcia-girls-lost-their-accents/study-guide/short-summary/>.
In the Time of the Butterflies Book Cover. Digital image. Katipatterson.com. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.karipatterson.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/in-the-time-of-butterflies.jpg>.
"Julia Alvarez." Department of English at Emory. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2013. <http://www.english.emory.edu/Bahri/Alvarez.html>.
Julia Alvarez. Digital image. Notable Biographies. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.notablebiographies.com/images/uewb_01_img0023.jpg>