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Julia Alvarez

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August 31, 1997
She climbed toward the sky when we did windows, while I stood by, her helper, doing the humdrum groundwork, carrying her sloppy buckets back and forth to the spigot, hosing the glasses down under the supervision up there on a ladder she had forbidden me. I wanted to mount that ladder, rung by rung, look down into the gaping mouths of buckets, the part in her greying hair. I wanted to rise, polishing into each pane another section of the sky.
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January 25, 2009 | Sonja Bolle, Bolle's Word Play column appears monthly at latimes.com/books.
Agricultural work is unforgiving. Running a farm involves the unrelenting necessity of daily chores. Cows can't wait to be milked; untended crops quickly fail. One of the most engaging qualities of Julia Alvarez's new novel for children, "Return to Sender," is how the book immerses readers in the rhythm of farm life. But those unyielding requirements also form the hard core of this story, which introduces issues at the heart of the current political debate over immigration.
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NEWS
January 20, 1997 | MICHAEL HARRIS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
There are three ways of looking at Julia Alvarez's lively and engaging novel: 1. It's like a second-stage airburst--the kind of fireworks whose first explosion is only a prelude, sending invisible rockets out to go pop! pop! pop! around a wider perimeter. The first blast, in this case, was Alvarez's debut novel, "How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents" (Algonquin Books, 1991). It was the story of four sisters whose well-to-do family fled political repression in the Dominican Republic in 1960.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 29, 2006 | Anthony Day, Special to The Times
"SAVING the World" is a novel with seriously good intentions. Its execution, regrettably, is flawed. Julia Alvarez, a novelist and children's author who teaches writing at Middlebury College in Vermont, sets out to examine two acts of questionable altruism toward people of the Caribbean that take place two centuries apart.
BOOKS
February 26, 1995 | Joanne Omang, Joanne Omang, a former correspondent in Latin America for the Washington Post, is working on her second novel set in that region
Some days the world seems full of the kind of people who catch a butterfly, admire it, show it with pride to others, and then pull its wings off. Our families, our colleagues, our politicians--what should our response be? Horror and revulsion, of course, but then what? Punishment? A helpless shrug? Depression? How about pity? Is there any reason to pity the pitiless?
NEWS
June 7, 1991 | JUDITH FREEMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Julia Alvarez's first novel, "How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents," is the story of the Garcia de la Torres family, a doctor and his wife and four daughters who flee their island home in the Dominican Republic after a failed coup in the late 1950s and move to New York to take up life as Americans.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 29, 2006 | Anthony Day, Special to The Times
"SAVING the World" is a novel with seriously good intentions. Its execution, regrettably, is flawed. Julia Alvarez, a novelist and children's author who teaches writing at Middlebury College in Vermont, sets out to examine two acts of questionable altruism toward people of the Caribbean that take place two centuries apart.
NEWS
March 23, 1997 | MARIA ELENA FERNANDEZ, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"This is a country obsessed with identity," says author Julia Alvarez. "We don't all share the same religion, ethnicity, race. We don't have something that unites us as a country. So we are constantly trying to figure out who we are." Her words tumble forth earnestly and melodically, peppered with quotes from Chekhov, Conrad, Frost.
BOOKS
October 11, 1998 | BRYCE MILLIGAN, Bryce Milligan is the primary editor of "Daughters of the Fifth Sun: A Collection of Latina Fiction and Poetry" and "Floricanto Si!: A Collection of Latina Poetry."
When novelist Sylvia Lopez-Medina died in a car accident last spring, there were few if any obituaries. So little information was available on Lopez-Medina that her agent was reduced to sending out book jackets and reviews in lieu of biographical summaries. Perhaps that was the way the sometimes reclusive author would have wanted it, but it was a pointed reminder--in the current glut of mainstream literary memoirs--that there is a paucity of autobiographical works by contemporary Latina writers.
NEWS
March 24, 1997 | MARIA ELENA FERNANDEZ, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"This is a country obsessed with identity," says author Julia Alvarez. "We don't all share the same religion, ethnicity, race. We don't have something that unites us as a country. So we are constantly trying to figure out who we are." Her words tumble forth earnestly and melodically, peppered with quotes from Chekhov, Conrad, Frost.
BOOKS
July 9, 2000 | SUSAN SALTER REYNOLDS
ALWAYS BEGINNING Essays On a Life in Poetry By Maxine Kumin; Copper Canyon Press: 226 pp., $17 paper It's good to read the life of a successful poet who has settled down on nice old farms in New England. Sex, commerce and chai-lattes do not a vision of the future make. Maxine Kumin struggled, she repeats: struggled, to become a poet in Boston in the '50s and '60s.
BOOKS
October 11, 1998 | BRYCE MILLIGAN, Bryce Milligan is the primary editor of "Daughters of the Fifth Sun: A Collection of Latina Fiction and Poetry" and "Floricanto Si!: A Collection of Latina Poetry."
When novelist Sylvia Lopez-Medina died in a car accident last spring, there were few if any obituaries. So little information was available on Lopez-Medina that her agent was reduced to sending out book jackets and reviews in lieu of biographical summaries. Perhaps that was the way the sometimes reclusive author would have wanted it, but it was a pointed reminder--in the current glut of mainstream literary memoirs--that there is a paucity of autobiographical works by contemporary Latina writers.
BOOKS
August 31, 1997
She climbed toward the sky when we did windows, while I stood by, her helper, doing the humdrum groundwork, carrying her sloppy buckets back and forth to the spigot, hosing the glasses down under the supervision up there on a ladder she had forbidden me. I wanted to mount that ladder, rung by rung, look down into the gaping mouths of buckets, the part in her greying hair. I wanted to rise, polishing into each pane another section of the sky.
NEWS
March 24, 1997 | MARIA ELENA FERNANDEZ, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"This is a country obsessed with identity," says author Julia Alvarez. "We don't all share the same religion, ethnicity, race. We don't have something that unites us as a country. So we are constantly trying to figure out who we are." Her words tumble forth earnestly and melodically, peppered with quotes from Chekhov, Conrad, Frost.
NEWS
March 23, 1997 | MARIA ELENA FERNANDEZ, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"This is a country obsessed with identity," says author Julia Alvarez. "We don't all share the same religion, ethnicity, race. We don't have something that unites us as a country. So we are constantly trying to figure out who we are." Her words tumble forth earnestly and melodically, peppered with quotes from Chekhov, Conrad, Frost.
NEWS
January 20, 1997 | MICHAEL HARRIS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
There are three ways of looking at Julia Alvarez's lively and engaging novel: 1. It's like a second-stage airburst--the kind of fireworks whose first explosion is only a prelude, sending invisible rockets out to go pop! pop! pop! around a wider perimeter. The first blast, in this case, was Alvarez's debut novel, "How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents" (Algonquin Books, 1991). It was the story of four sisters whose well-to-do family fled political repression in the Dominican Republic in 1960.
BOOKS
February 26, 1995 | Joanne Omang, Joanne Omang, a former correspondent in Latin America for the Washington Post, is working on her second novel set in that region
Some days the world seems full of the kind of people who catch a butterfly, admire it, show it with pride to others, and then pull its wings off. Our families, our colleagues, our politicians--what should our response be? Horror and revulsion, of course, but then what? Punishment? A helpless shrug? Depression? How about pity? Is there any reason to pity the pitiless?
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