Julia Alvarez

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General Information

Name: Julia Alvarez

Pen Name: None

Genres: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, History

Born: 1950 in New York City, NY

Website: N/A

Email: N/A

Illinois Connection

The Author taught at the University of Illinois for three years.

Biographical and Professional Information

Julia Alvarez is an author, a poet, fiction writer, and essayist. She was born in New York and when she was three months old, her family moved to the Dominican Republic. They moved back to New York City when she was ten years old.

In high school and college, she knew she wanted to be a writer. After graduate school, she continued to write and started teaching. After five years of traveling across the country with poetry-in-the-schools programs, she put down roots and began teaching at the high school level, moving on to college teaching.

In 1991, she earned tenure at Middlebury College and published her first novel, How The García Girls Lost Their Accents. After several years, she gave up her tenured post but Middlebury College invited her to stay on as a writer-in-residence, advising students, teaching a course from time to time, giving readings. So, today she still lives in Vermont.

About eleven years ago, Alvarez and her husband started a sustainable farm-literacy center project called Alta Gracia. Her book, A Cafecito Story, is a modern fable she wrote inspired by the project. To find out how to order their coffee, Café Alta Gracia, or visit the farm, go to cafealtagracia.com.

Her book, Once Upon A Quinceañera: Coming of Age in the USA, gives autobiographical information on her coming of age in the United States and finding her voice as a woman and as an American writer.

Published Works

  • Homecoming, Algonquin; 1984, reprint 2010
  • How the Garcia Girls lost their Accents, Algonquin, 1991, reprint 2010
  • In the time of the Butterflies, Algonquin, 1994 - reprint 2010
  • Homecoming: New and Collected Poems, Plume, 1996
  • Yo!, Plume, 1997
  • Something to Declare: Essays, Algonquin, 1998
  • In the Name of Salome, Plume, 2001
  • The Secret Footprints, Dragon Fly Books, 2002
  • How Tia Lola Came to (Visit) Stay, Yearling, 2002
  • Before We Were Free, Laurel Leaf, 2004
  • A Gift of Gracias: The Legend of Altagracia, Knopf, 2005
  • Finding Miracles, Laurel Leaf, 2006
  • Saving the World, Shannon Ravenal, 2007
  • Once Upon a Quinceanera: Coming of Age in the USA, Plume, 2008
  • Return to Sender, Yearling, 2010
  • The Woman I Kept to Myself, Shannon Ravenal, 2011
  • How Tia Lola Learned to Teach, Yearling, 2011
  • A Wedding in Haiti, Algonquin, 2012
  • How Tia Lola Saved the Summer, Yearling, 2012
  • How Tia Lola Ended Up Starting Over, Yearling, 2012

Titles for Purchase and at Your Library

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents

ISBN: 156512975X
Release Date: 2010-01-12

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In the Time of the Butterflies

ISBN: 1565129768
Release Date: 2010-01-12

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Before We Were Free (Laurel-Leaf Books Readers Circle)

ISBN: 044023784X
Release Date: 2004-04-13

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Homecoming: New and Collected Poems

ISBN: 0452275679
Release Date: 1996-04-01

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ISBN: 0452279186
Release Date: 1997-12-01

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Something to Declare

ISBN: 1565121937
Release Date: 1998-08-01

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In the Name of Salome

ISBN: 0452282438
Release Date: 2001-06-01

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The Secret Footprints

ISBN: 0440417473
Release Date: 2002-09-10

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How Tia Lola Came to (Visit) Stay (The Tia Lola Stories)

ISBN: 0440418704
Release Date: 2002-08-13

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A Gift of Gracias: The Legend of Altagracia

ISBN: 0375824251
Release Date: 2005-10-11

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Finding Miracles

ISBN: 0553494066
Release Date: 2006-05-09

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Saving the World (Shannon Ravenel Books (Paperback))

ISBN: 1565125584
Release Date: 2007-04-27

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Once Upon a Quinceanera: Coming of Age in the USA

ISBN: 0452288304
Release Date: 2008-07-29

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Return to Sender

ISBN: 0375851232
Release Date: 2010-09-14

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The Woman I Kept to Myself

ISBN: 1616200723
Release Date: 2011-04-05

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How Tia Lola Learned to Teach (The Tia Lola Stories)

ISBN: 0375857923
Release Date: 2011-09-13

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A Wedding in Haiti

ISBN: 1616201304
Release Date: 2012-04-24

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How Tia Lola Saved the Summer (The Tia Lola Stories)

ISBN: 0375866876
Release Date: 2012-05-08

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Literary Awards

"In the Time of Butterflies" was selected for the One Book, One Chicago program in the fall of 2004.

Speaking Engagements and Upcoming Appearances

Speaking Engagement Availability: (Yes)

External Links

Julia Alvarez on WorldCat

Julia Alvarez on Amazon


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