Before We Were Free by Julia AlvarezI wonder what it would be like to be free? Not to need wings because you don’t have to fly away from your country?
Anita de la Torre is a twelve-year-old girl living in the Dominican Republic in 1960. Most of her relatives have emigrated to the United States, her Tio Toni has disappeared, Papi has been getting mysterious phone calls about butterflies and someone named Mr. Smith, and the secret police have started terrorizing her family for their suspected opposition to the country’s dictator. While Anita deals with a frightening series of events, she also struggles with her adolescence and her own personal fight to be free.
An Interview with Julia Alvarez
Julia Alvarez born March 27, is a Dominican-American poet, novelist, and essayist. Her publications as a poet include Homecoming and The Woman I Kept to Myself , and as an essayist the autobiographical compilation Something to Declare Many literary critics regard her to be one of the most significant Latina writers and she has achieved critical and commercial success on an international scale. Julia Alvarez has also written several books for younger readers. Her first picture book for children was "The Secret Footprints" published in
Julia Alvarez is a writer whose most notable work is How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, a discussion of her life in the Dominican Republic and in the United States and the hardships members of her family faced as immigrants. Many of her works examine the conflicts and benefits that go along with living as both a Dominican and an American. She and her sisters were brought up along with their cousins, and were supervised by her mother, maids, and many aunts. Her father, a doctor who ran a nearby hospital, had met her mother while she was attending school in the United States. Alvarez's family was highly influenced by American attitudes and goods. Alvarez and her sisters attended an American school, and, for a special treat, they ate ice cream from an American ice cream parlor. The entire extended family had respect and admiration for America; to the children, it was a fantasy land.
Julia Alvarez Jerry Bauer. Reproduced by permission. In , Alvarez broke into children's literature, where she enjoyed equal success. By the mids, younger audiences were embracing Alvarez, who in true-to-life, and often heart-wrenching stories, depicts the struggle of young people who are torn between cultures. All of Alvarez's children's books received critical praise.
Julia Alvarez facts: In her poetry and prose, Julia Alvarez (born ) has Cautioned by her mother to behave at the important dinner, Sandi does as she is .
making of walking with monsters
Background in the Dominican Republic
I guess the first thing I should say is that I was not born in the Dominican Republic. When I was three months old, my parents, both native Dominicans, decided to return to their homeland, preferring the dictatorship of Trujillo to the U. Once again, my father got involved in the underground and soon my family was in deep trouble. We left hurriedly in , four months before the founders of that underground, the Mirabal sisters, were brutally murdered by the dictatorship see In the Time of the Butterflies. But classroom English, heavily laced with Spanish, did not prepare me for the "barbaric yawp" of American English -- as Whitman calls it.
Dominican author Julia Alvarez has given voice to the themes of displacement, alienation, and search for identity in her poetry and fiction. Thrown into a foreign language and culture as a child, Alvarez found refuge in books and writing. She discovered through words she could build her own worlds that both revealed and transcended the meaning of her life. Her writings include four novels, two collections of poetry, a book of essays, and two children's stories. Although Alvarez was born in New York City on March 27, , soon after her birth her parents returned to their native home of the Dominican Republic , where her father, a doctor, ran a local hospital. The second of four sisters, she was reared close to her mother's family, amidst a slew of cousins, aunts, uncles, and maids. When Alvarez was ten years old, her father became actively involved in the underground coalition poised to overthrow dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina.