Julia Alvarez
Disrupters

Julia Alvarez

The Dominican-American new formalist poet, novelist, and essayist is always evolving with her work.

Author, novelist and poet Julia Alvarez was born in New York City in 1950, but shortly thereafter returned to the Dominican Republic. Her family had to flee D.R. ten years later, as her father was involved in a plot to overthrow Dictator Trujillo.

Alvarez’s accolades are of the highest merit, one of them being the National Medal of Arts that was given to her by President Barack Obama. She has also won the Hispanic Heritage Are and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award. For her books for young readers, she has been awarded the Pura Belpre and Americas Awards.

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Her work is in both the Spanish and English languages and spans different forms including: novels, poems, essays, nonfiction and books for young readers. Her latest work ‘Afterlife’ is a Time Magazine Must Read Book of 2020, A Most Anticipated Book of the Year: O, The Oprah Magazine and has been suggested by The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vogue and more. ‘Afterlife’ has been described by Elizabeth Acevedo as, “A stunning work of art that reminds readers Alvarez is, and always has been, in a class of her own.”

According to the New York Times Book Review, “[Alvarez] reaps the fruits of her earlier literary efforts . . . Afterlife is anchored not just in easy humor and sharp observation, but in her fine-tuned sense for the intimacies of immigrant sisterhood.”

Alvarez has mentored and taught in schools throughout the U.S., and was also a writer in residence at Middlebury College, a position that she retired from in 2016. Her successes continue to provide her with much deserved recognition. She won a Latina Leader Award in Literature from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, was named woman of the year by Latina magazine and won the Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature. Her book ‘In the Time of the Butterflies’ sold over one million copies and was chosen by the National Endowment for the Arts to be part of the national Big Read program.

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