Inhabiting La Patria
Identity, Agency, and Antojo in the Work of Julia Alvarez
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: State University of New York Press
Title Page, Copyright
An edition of this kind never materializes without creating a number of personal and professional arrears. First, we owe a heartfelt debt of gratitude to our contributors. Your work makes this book. Thank you for your writing, your revisions, and for always meeting with good...
Rebecca Harrison and Emily Hipchen
It is just the right time to be talking of Julia Alvarez. Her work engages all our contemporary intellectual obsessions, intersects all our coffee shop talk, all our most volatile news. It gets us at every age, arrives in every possible written form. Our children listen to us read her beautifully illustrated books, fingering pictures of ...
1 Julia Alvarez and the Autobiographical Antojo
When Julia Alvarez became the first Dominican American woman to be published by a major American press, she gained international recognition for celebrating her Dominican American culture and for examining the painful memories of her exile in the United States. In Alvarez’s first novel,...
2 ¡Yo! on the Margins
Julia Alvarez’s debut novel, How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, quickly “climb[ed] the canon” (Lauter 1) of U.S. American college and high school curricula following its publication in 1991. The novel was awarded the Pen Oakland/Josephine Miles Award and was well received by general and academic audiences alike, arguably because ...
3 “Super-Size Me”
Julia Alvarez opens Once upon a Quinceañera: Coming of Age in the USA (2007) with a short epigraph from Plato: “Education is teaching our children to desire the right things.” For the author, learning involves a straightforward intergenerational transmission: adults instruct their offspring about the correct items to want in life. Alvarez ...
4 Rewriting Master Narratives
Building off the work of Benedict Anderson, Timothy Brennan claims that “nations are imaginary constructs that depend for their existence on an apparatus of cultural fictions in which imaginative literature plays a decisive role” (49). He argues that this need for a scaffold of cultural fiction “coincides especially with one form of literature—the ...
5 Patriots and Citizens of the Planet
Susana S. Martínez
Historically, adolescence has always been a transitional period of questioning self-identity and searching for connections to the larger world outside the home. Pam B. Cole characterizes adolescence as “a time of firsts: a period of rapid psychological, physical, and social change, a time of uncertainty, roller-coaster emotions, and conflict....
6 Isolation on Hybridity Road
Karina A. Bautista
To study the diasporic identity of the Dominican transnational community is, in a sense, to evoke the characters, anecdotes, and historical events described in the pages of Julia Alvarez’s Something to Declare (1998). This collection of essays reflects on the process of social fragmentation that Dominican society experienced from the...
7 “Between the Scylla and the Charybdis”
Andrea Witzke Slot
The Dominican American writer Julia Alvarez often uses her experiences of moving in between cultures, classes, countries, and languages to inform her fiction and poetry. Her long poem “The Other Side/ El Otro Lado” is no exception. Comprising the entire fifth section of the collection of the same name, “The Other Side/El Otro Lado”...
8 In the Name of Salomé
Julia Alvarez’s novel In the Name of Salomé (2000), like most historical novels by Latin American, Hispanic, and Caribbean writers (Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Alejo Carpentier y Valmont, Carlos Fuentes, and Junot Díaz), focuses on la patria, the nation. Alvarez’s novel, however, provides one of the few...
9 The Hidden Archivist; Or, Julia Alvarez’s Historical Fiction beyond the Borders
Luisa Valenzuela’s stories in Other Weapons (1982) utilize the emotional relationships between men and women to comment upon the repressive military regime in Argentina during the Dirty War. The opening novella, “Fourth Version,” complicates a straightforward plot—the love affair between an actress and an ambassador in an unnamed...