Other books byJulia Alvarez
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents
The GarcÃasâDr. Carlos (Papi), his wife Laura (Mami), and their four daughters, Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and SofÃaâbelong to the uppermost echelon of Spanish Caribbean society, descended from the conquistadores. Their family compound adjoins the palacio of the dictatorâs daughter. So when Dr. GarcÃaâs part in a coup attempt is discovered, the family must flee. They arrive in New York City in 1960 to a life far removed from their existence in the Dominican Republic. Papi has to find new patients in the Bronx. Mami, far from the compound and the family retainers, must find herself. Meanwhile, the girls try to lose themselvesâby forgetting their Spanish, by straightening their hair and wearing fringed bell bottoms. For them, it is at once liberating and excruciating being caught between the old world and the new, trying to live up to their fatherâs version of honor while accommodating the expectations of their American boyfriends. Acclaimed writer Julia Alvarezâs brilliant and buoyant first novel sets the GarcÃa girls free to tell their most intimate stories about how they came to be at homeâand not at homeâin America.
Return to Sender
After Tyler's father is injured in a tractor accident, his family is forced to hire migrant Mexican workers to help save their Vermont farm from foreclosure. Tyler isn’t sure what to make of these workers. Are they undocumented? And what about the three daughters, particularly Mari, the oldest, who is proud of her Mexican heritage but also increasingly connected her American life. Her family lives in constant fear of being discovered by the authorities and sent back to the poverty they left behind in Mexico. Can Tyler and Mari find a way to be friends despite their differences? In a novel full of hope, but no easy answers, Julia Alvarez weaves a beautiful and timely story that will stay with readers long after they finish it. From the Hardcover edition.
MILLY KAUFMAN IS an ordinary American teenager living in Vermont—until she meets Pablo, a new student at her high school. His exotic accent, strange fashion sense, and intense interest in Milly force her to confront her identity as an adopted child from Pablo’s native country. As their relationship grows, Milly decides to undertake a courageous journey to her homeland and along the way discovers the story of her birth is intertwined with the story of a country recovering from a brutal history. Beautifully written by reknowned author Julia Alvarez, Finding Miracles examines the emotional complexity of familial relationships and the miracles of everyday life. From the Hardcover edition.
Saving the World
Latina novelist Alma Huebner is suffering from writer's block and is years past the completion date for yet another of her bestselling family sagas. Her husband, Richard, works for a humanitarian organization dedicated to the health and prosperity of developing countries and wants her help on an extended AIDS assignment in the Dominican Republic. But Alma begs off joining him: the publisher is breathing down her neck. She promises to work hard and follow him a bit later. The truth is that Alma is seriously sidetracked by a story she has stumbled across. It's the story of a much earlier medical do-gooder, Spaniard Francisco Xavier Balmis, who in 1803 undertook to vaccinate the populations of Spain's American colonies against smallpox. To do this, he required live "carriers" of the vaccine. Of greater interest to Alma is Isabel Sendales y GÃ³mez, director of La Casa de ExpÃ³sitos, who was asked to select twenty-two orphan boys to be the vaccine carriers. She agreedâ with the stipulation that she would accompany the boys on the proposed two-year voyage. Her strength and courage inspire Alma, who finds herself becoming obsessed with the details of Isabel's adventures. This resplendent novel-within-a-novel spins the disparate tales of two remarkable women, both of whom are swept along by machismo. In depicting their confrontation of the great scourges of their respective eras, Alvarez exposes the conflict between altruism and ambition.