Julia Alvarez “Antojos” Latin American Author
Background • Born in NYC • Raised in Dominican Republic until the age of 10—fled as political refugees • Used writing as a way to find her cultural identity being uprooted so young
Works • Volumes of poetry: Homecoming (1984), The Other Side (1995), and The Woman I Kept to Myself (2004). • Novels: How the García Girls Lost Their Accents (1991), In the Time of the Butterflies (1994), ¡Yo! (1997) and In the Name of Salomé (2000). • Her fiction, like her poetry, deals with both the immigrant experience and her own bicultural identity.
“Antojos” • Became the first chapter of How the Garcia Girls lost their Accents • Antojos means “cravings” in Spanish • Craving—connotations? • Why title it in Spanish and write it in English?
Setting • A windy country road in the Dominican Republic. It is specific because this is about a journey that the main character takes and her cultural confusion which can only take place outside her home in a place that should be her home. • Yolanda’s journey—like a windy country road
Tone • The tone is elegiac/nostalgic longing for something…maybe a bit illusive and confused
Conflict • Main conflict: internal it is her struggle to find a closer connection with her homeland even though she feels somewhat alienated at times. • Sub-conflicts: • Man vs. nature/technology: she struggles to fix her car and remove herself from danger.
Literary Elements • Flashback: thinking about her home; thinking about her time with her aunts • Foreshadowing: the bumpy road indicates something might happen • Motif: Palmolive • Symbolism: guavas==antojos—possession by an island spirit demanding its due—clue to the conflict
Theme • Values are connected to culture and we need to focus in on the values that we really feel rather than ones we can never attain. • Language is power • Life is journey