From Illinois Authors
Pen Name: None
Genres: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, History
Born: 1950 in New York City, NY
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.
- 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
Release Date: 2010-01-12
Before We Were Free (Laurel-Leaf Books Readers Circle)
Release Date: 2004-04-13
Homecoming: New and Collected Poems
Release Date: 1996-04-01
Release Date: 1997-12-01
Something to Declare
Release Date: 1998-08-01
In the Name of Salome
Release Date: 2001-06-01
The Secret Footprints
Release Date: 2002-09-10
How Tia Lola Came to (Visit) Stay (The Tia Lola Stories)
Release Date: 2002-08-13
A Gift of Gracias: The Legend of Altagracia
Release Date: 2005-10-11
Release Date: 2006-05-09
The Woman I Kept to Myself
Release Date: 2011-04-05
"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)
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