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Julia Alvarez Biography

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  1. Julia Alvarez Biography By Sam Willsey

  2. Her Roots and Origin • She was born on March 27, 1950 • While being born in New York, USA, she quickly moved with her family back to the Dominican Republic. • While there, her father was working in an under ground union that was attempting more than once to overthrow the government under Rafael Trujillo • When she was 10 years old she and her family escaped the Dominican Republic after a failed attempt by her father. (Susan Walker)

  3. Scholarly Life • She was very well educated • She attended many colleges: • CT College, Middlebury College, Syracuse, and The Bread Loaf School of English • From Middlebury College she earned a degree in bachelor of arts • Then from Syracuse she earned her MFA, back in 1975 (Susan Walker)

  4. Why a Writer? • “What made me into a writer was coming to this country…all of a sudden losing a culture, a homeland, a language, a family…I wanted a portable homeland and that’s the imagination.” - Julia Alvarez • “Not understanding the language, I had to pay close attention to each word--great training for a writer.” - Julia Alvarez • She has a unique background to base her career on (Susan Walker, Julia Alvarez)

  5. Slow Start • Julia didn’t publish her first book until she was 41 years old - “How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents” followed thereafter by: • “In the Time of the Butterflies,” “¡YO!,” and “Once upon a Quincenera” • When asked about her writing and how much she does daily, she replied; “[I] didn’t get published until I was 41. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t working on it. I was so busy with my teaching that I could only do my writing in the summers” (Julia Alvarez-bio page)

  6. Still Working • While waiting to be published, she had to make a living through teaching • She taught poetry in multiple schools including; Kentucky, Delaware, and North Carolina • She taught creative writing at Andover, the University of Vermont, and the University of Illinois • Her writing has been published in many newspapers and magazines. (Susan Walker, Julia Alvarez Bio page)

  7. Julia Today • When asked if it was hard to quit her tenure position for writing she responded; “All my life I’ve been a teacher who writes on the side and now I’m a writer who teaches on the side.” • Julia and her husband (Bill Eichner) live on a large farm in Vermont • She is presently teaching at Middlebury college, giving up her tenure position for her writing, and is coming to visit the K-O school on December 6th, this winter. (Susan Walker, Julia Alvarez-about me, Julia Alvarez bio page)

  8. Work Cited • Walker, Susan . "Julia Alvarez." Julia Alvarez. 22 Sep. 1997. Used 27 Sep. 2009 www.English.Emory.edu/Bahri/Alvarez. Html • Alvarez, Julia. "About Me: author Julia Alvarez." Julia Alvarez: official author website. 22 Sep. 2008. Used 27 Sep. 2009 http://www.juliaalvarez.com/about/ • “Julia Alvarez - Bio” 1996-2009 http://www.bookreporter.com/authors/au-alvarez-julia.asp