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Julia Alvarez Books In Order

Publication Order of Tia Lola Stories Books

How Tia Lola Came to(Visit) Stay (2001)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
How Tia Lola Learned to Teach (2010)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
How Tia Lola Saved the Summer (2011)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
How Tia Lola Ended Up Starting Over (2011)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (1991)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
In the Time of the Butterflies (1994)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Yo! (1997)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
In the Name of Salome (2000)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Secret Footprints (2000)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Before We Were Free (2002)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Finding Miracles (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Saving the World (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Return to Sender (2009)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Afterlife (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Homecoming (1984)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Woman I Kept to Myself (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Resistencia (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Chapbooks

A Cafecito Story (2001)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Picture Books

A Gift of Gracias (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Where Do They Go? (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Already a Butterfly (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Something to Declare (1998)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Once Upon a Quinceanera (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Wedding in Haiti (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Future Dictionary of America(2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Julia Alvarez
Julia Alvarez was born March 27, 1950 in New York City during her family’s first failed attempt at living in America. When she was three months old, they moved back to the Dominican Republic, and she spent the first ten years of her life in the Dominican Republic.

She migrated in the year 1960 to America with her family after her dad’s involvement in a political rebellion forced her whole family to flee the country.

Julia developed her talent for telling stories early on and was often called on to entertain guests. At times, though, she would get punished for telling some, too. Lying, it was called during that time.

She loved stories since she was a kid. Hearing them, or telling them. She comes from an oral culture where the stories are not written down.

Since she was one of the few Latin American students attending her Catholic school, she often faced discrimination because of her heritage and was often called “Spic” by her classmates. It made her turn inward and led to her having a fascination with literature, which she called a portable homeland.

Julia was encouraged by many of her instructors to pursue writing, and from an early age, was sure that this was what she wanted to do with the rest of her life.

She also finds that coming to this country and not quite understanding the language, since she had to pay attention to each word, were great training for a writer and helped her want to become an author.

When she was thirteen years old, her parents sent her to Abbot Academy, a boarding school, since the local schools were thought to be insufficient. This caused her relationship with her parents to suffer, and it was strained even further when she went back to the D.R. each summer to reinforce their identities not just as Dominicans but as a proper young lady too. These exchanges between countries informed her cultural understanding, which is the basis for many of her books.

She graduated from Abbot Academy in 1967, and went to Connecticut College from 1967 until 1969. While she went here, she won the Benjamin T. Marshall Poetry Prize before transferring to Middlebury College. Here, she got her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1971, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. After that, she got her master’s degree from Syracuse University in the year 1975.

She was a driven soul through high school and college, then graduate school program in creative writing. However, during the late sixties and early seventies, Afro-American authors were just starting to get admission into the canon. Latino literature or writers just was unheard of during this time.

She had to earn a living during this time, which is how she got into teaching. Julia taught a lot of creative writing, something she loved doing. She would travel across the country doing poetry-in-the-schools programs, working until the money dried up in a district before moving on to another.

Once she sold “Garcia Girls”, she was given the chance to be what she always wanted to be: a writer that made money writing. She had also fallen in love by this time with the classroom. She worried and worked on what she should do. After many years of asking for time off, she gave up her post. Middlebury College kindly invited her to be writer-in-residence, advising the students, giving readings, and teaching a course on occasion.

“The Garcia Girls” is the first novel written by a Dominican-American woman to get widespread attention and acclaim in America. It shows the issues with ethnic identity and Alvarez challenges some commonly held assumptions of multiculturalism as entirely positive.

One thing Julia has never liked about being a “Latina Writer” is that there are people that want to turn her into some sort of spokesperson. There is no spokesperson, she feels. A lot of realities, different classes and shades.

When she got a book deal, she was over the age of forty, with more than twenty years of writing under her belt. This is something she tells students that get discouraged at the age of nineteen when they do not have a book deal, yet.

Julia married Bill Eichner in the year 1989.

“How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents” received the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award and was listed by Americas magazine as 1993’s No. 1 bestseller in Latin America. It was also named by The New York Times Book Review and ALA as a Notable Book of 1991. “In the Time of the Butterflies” was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award in 1995.

Julia writes the “Tia Lola Stories” series and some stand alone novels. Her debut novel, called “How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents”, was released in the year 1991.

“Finding Miracles” is a stand alone novel and was released in the year 2004. Milly Kaufman is just an ordinary American teen living in Vermont. Then she meets Pablo, a new student attending her high school. His odd fashion sense, exotic accent, and his intense interest he has taken in Milly make her confront her identity as an adopted kid from Pablo’s home country.

While their relationship grows, Milly decides she will take a courageous journey back to her homeland. Along the way, she discovers the story of her birth is connected with the tale of a country that recovers from a brutal history.

“Return to Sender” is a stand alone novel and was released in the year 2009. Tyler’s dad gets injured in a tractor accident, his family is required to hire migrant Mexican laborers to help save their Vermont farm from getting foreclosed. Tyler is unsure of just what to make of these workers. Are they actually undocumented? What about their three daughters, especially Mari, who is the oldest and is proud of her Mexican heritage yet increasingly linked to her American life.

Her family lives always afraid of being found by the authorities and sent right back to the poverty that they left in Mexico. Will Tyler and Mari be able to find a way to become friends despite all of their differences?

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