How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (Plume Contemporary Fiction)

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9780452268067: How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (Plume Contemporary Fiction)

Uprooted from their family home in the Dominican Republic, the four Garcia sisters - Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sofia - arrive in New York City in 1960 to find a life far different from the genteel existence of maids, manicures, and extended family they left behind. What they have lost - and what they find - is revealed in the fifteen interconnected stories that make up this exquisite novel from one of the premier novelists of our time. Just as it is a feature of the immigrant experience to always look back, the novel begins with thirty-nine-year-old Yolanda's return to the island and moves magically backward in time to the final days before the exile that is to transform the sisters' lives. Along the way we witness their headlong plunge into the American mainstream. Although the girls try to distance themselves from their island life by ironing their hair, forgetting their Spanish, and meeting boys unchaperoned, they remain forever caught between the old world and the new. With bright humor and rare insight, Julia Alvarez vividly evokes the tensions and joys of belonging to two distinct cultures in a novel that is utterly authentic and full of irrepressible spirit.

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About the Author:

Julia Alvarez left the Dominican Republic for the United States in 1960 at the age of ten. She is the author of six novels, two books of nonfiction, three collections of poetry, and eight books for children and young adults. Her work has garnered wide recognition, including a Latina Leader Award in Literature in 2007 from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the 2002 Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature, the
2000 Woman of the Year by Latina magazine, and inclusion in the New York Public Library’s 1996 program “The Hand of the Poet: Original Manuscripts by 100 Masters, from John Donne to Julia Alvarez.” A writer-in-residence at Middlebury College, Alvarez and her husband, Bill Eichner, established Alta Gracia, an organic coffee farm–literacy arts center, in her homeland, the Dominican Republic.

From AudioFile:

Alvarez's poetic prose, with its rich, sensual detail, is brought perfectly to life by five readers. With expressive voices and accents that move adeptly between English and Spanish, they narrate the interwoven stories of four daughters of a wealthy family forced to leave the Dominican Republic and settle in the United States. Adjustment to immigrant life and its long-term consequences is explored with psychological astuteness from the point of view of each sister. Oddly, the narrators' voices are similar, making it difficult to distinguish among them, although this doesn't detract from the pleasures of listening. The rich detail, emotional depth, and fine narration make this a book that invites multiple listenings. E.S. © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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Book Description Penguin Plume, New York, New York, U.S.A., 1992. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. A family must flee the Dominican Republic because of a failed effort to topple a cruel dictator. The Garcia sisters try to adapt to life in New York City in the 1960's. Poignant tale of culture clash. 290 pages. Published @ $14.00. Bookseller Inventory # 1546

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