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Critically Acclaimed Latina Author to Speak at BC April 24

Julia Alvarez Photo

At the age of 10, Julia Alvarez and her family fled the Dominican Republic where her father was in danger of imminent arrest by then president Rafael Trujillo. Alvarez will speak on Wednesday, April 24, at 7:30 p.m., in Cole Hall at Bridgewater College.

Born in New York City, Alvarez and her family returned to their home country when she was three months old. Her father became involved with the underground and the family returned to the United States in 1960.

In fleeing the Dominican Republic, the Alvarezes exchanged privileged lives in a luxurious family compound for poverty and anti-Hispanic prejudice in New York City until her father, a doctor, was licensed in the U.S. and built a practice among Spanish-speaking patients.

Alvarez attended an exclusive boarding school, and she went on to earn her undergraduate degree from Middlebury College, where she eventually returned to teach creative writing.

A literary writer, Alvarez has mined her rich bicultural heritage for stories of transnational identity and freedom from political oppression.

Her first novel, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, was strongly autobiographical. Alvarez also wrote a historical novel, In the Time of the Butterflies, one of the first works to speak out against the brutal Trujillo regime.

She has published five novels, a book of essays, four collections of poetry, four children’s books, two works of adolescent fiction, and the recently published work of nonfiction, A Wedding in Haiti.

The program is sponsored by the Harold H. Hersch Educational Fund and the college’s Center for Cultural Engagement.

Posted 4/15/13

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