Alvarez, Julia. "The gift of perseverance: you become part of an ongoing tidal wave that you hope will, at some point, really change things. But it's slow and evolving." Delicious Living 23. 8

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Jacob Schulman
Ms. Bishop
AP English Lit & Comp

22 March 2009

Julia Alvarez: An Annotated Bibliography

  • Alvarez, Julia. "The gift of perseverance: you become part of an ongoing tidal wave that you hope will, at some point, really change things. But it's slow and evolving." Delicious Living 23.8 (August 2007): 62(1). Business and Company ASAP. Gale. Roslyn School District. 23 Mar. 2009. .

    • Alvarez talks about her community service back to the Dominican Republic, Finca Alta Gracia, and shows how she feels that everyone must become part of an “ongoing tidal wave.” She says that it’s “slow and evolving,” and that we Americans only measure things by the success rate. She mentions how many obstacles she has overcome, and how simple things like literacy in a less-developed country is such a triumph. This source serves to display Alvarez’s positivity and how she feels that human nature can triumph through small acts. Similar motifs are present throughout her works, as she strives to make her characters as positive as possible, even in grave circumstances.

  • Alvarez, Julia. "Conversations with America: Julia Alvarez." Conversations with America. American Public Media. 1 Nov. 2008. Weekend America. 1 Nov. 2008. American Public Media. 21 Mar. 2009 .

    • Julia Alvarez reads an essay that she wrote in the lead up to the historic 2008 presidential election. She stresses the need to take action and vote, and how people have died trying to get this right that so many people take for granted. It shows her appreciation and dedication to country, whether it be her motherland or the United States that she currently calls home.

  • Athy, Angela. "Julia Alvarez." American Ethnic Writers. Vol. 1. Hackensack: Salem P, Inc., 2000. 22-25.

    • The section author discusses Alvarez’s Caribbean and Dominican American traditions throughout the excerpt. She mentions how social position within the Dominican Republic put her at a significant advantage, and how it is contrasted with the family’s relatively meager means when in the United States, struggling to fit in and assimilating as a young teen in the outer parts of New York City. A search for identity is a major theme throughout all of her works, and she does her best to try and “define” each character that she introduces to the reader. The source that makes distinct connections between Alvarez’s upbringing and cultural traditions and their impact in her works, and will definitely be helpful in the final paper.

  • Coonrod Martinez, Elizabeth. "Julia Alvarez: progenitor of a movement." Americas (English Edition) 59.2 (March-April 2007): 6(8). Junior Edition. Gale. Roslyn School District. 23 Mar. 2009. .

    • Excerpt from a biography about Alvarez with actual quotations from the novelist herself. She states that she is “very lucky to happen to have been a writer at the watershed time when Latino literature became a literature that was not relegated to the province of sociology,” and that she still thinks that there is a bit of condescension towards ethnic literature, and she hopes to overcome that disposition. The quotes reveal more about Alvarez herself, and focus on her more than just her works. It was helpful to see her outside the context of just discussing her own novels, and really diving into the social impact that she has made through all of the success that she has attained.

  • Hispanic Heritage: Julia Alvarez. Vol. 2. Gale. Gale. Cengage Learning. Biography Resource Center, Farmington Hills, MI. 21 Mar. 2009 .

    • Another source that highlights Alvarez’s childhood and upbringing, and how it affected her growing up. “Although I was raised in the Dominican Republic by Dominican parents in an extended Dominican family, mine was an American childhood,” she declares. It discusses the prejudice she faced and again highlights the differences between her livelihood in the US and in the Dominican republic. The source is extensive and detailed, but again shows much of the same information that has been presented earlier. It is useful, however, because of the extent of the parallels drawn, and it does a good job of laying things out for the researcher.

  • Kapai, Leela. Julia Alvarez. Magill's Survey of American Literature. Revised Edition ed. Vol. 1. Hackensack: Salem P, Inc., 2007. 67-71.

    • The author opens with an autobiographical section on Alvarez and her years spent between the Dominican Republic and the United States. She then gives a general analysis of major themes throughout Alvarez’s works as well as brief overviews of her lesser known works such as ¡Yo! And In the Name of Salomé, both of which connect to the general themes of finding one’s identity and alienation. She also presents more in depth critiques of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents and In the Time of the Butterflies, and draws similar parallels between Alvarez herself and the characters she writes about.
      Extremely useful in terms of gaining new insight on the novels written by Alvarez, as well as reaffirming some of the themes that were recognized in the critiques I submitted earlier. Ideas on alienation and feelings of loneliness that were emphasized will be incorporated.

  • "Julia Alvarez." Newsweek 151.10 (10 Mar. 2008): 16-16. MasterFILE Select. EBSCO. Bryant Library, Roslyn, NY. 23 Mar. 2009 .

    • This short newspaper excerpt comes from a feature called “A Life in Books,” that asked Alvarez to take “One book from each decade in my life.” She chose stories that depicted minority girls with determination (The Arabian Nights), about reinventing oneself (The Woman Warrior), and about how people become human. However, her return to The Arabian Nights disappointed her because “the kowtowing to the male ego is enough to make your hair curl.” This sums up one of Alvarez’s main tenets in a single sentence, and shows her desire to throw accepted gender roles out into the wind.

  • Prescott, Stephanie. "Julia Alvarez: Dominican Republic storyteller." Faces (07491387) 15.6 (Feb. 1999): 30. MasterFILE Select. EBSCO. Bryand Library, Roslyn, NY. 23 Mar. 2009 .

    • This source discusses more of Alvarez’s autobiographical information which has already been researched in detail. There isn’t much new information in this selection, but it continues to draw many of the same parallels that other critiques and sources have also pointed out. Portrays Alvarez as a symbol for all Dominican (and Hispanic) writers, and depicts her to be a mouthpiece for other similar ethnic writers on the whole.

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