Yolanda Garcia is taking a trip to the Dominican Republic to revisit the country where she was born, and which her family was forced to flee for New York when she was a child. Previously privileged and wealthy, the family finds it hard to adjust to immigrant life in the Bronx, particularly their tough old-world father, Papi. As they try immerse ...
Yolanda Garcia is taking a trip to the Dominican Republic to revisit the country where she was born, and which her family was forced to flee for New York when she was a child. Previously privileged and wealthy, the family finds it hard to adjust to immigrant life in the Bronx, particularly their tough old-world father, Papi. As they try immerse themselves in the American way of life, Yolanda and her three sisters begin to rebel against Papi's traditions and values, each in their own way. But, however the girls may iron the curls from their hair and blend their Hispanic accents to fit in, they will always see the world through Dominican eyes. Now Yolanda needs to return one more time, to recover forgotten memories and remember that part of her she lost.
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While she is a renowned writer, I find Alvarez's books difficult to "get into" and follow.
Nov 16, 2007
A Fantastic Island Jewel
The first book I read of Alvarez's was for our Women?s Literature class. "In the Time of the Butterflies" was fantastic. "How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents" was just as good, focusing again on four sisters. This book describes their stories as they are ripped from their native home in the Dominican Republic and dropped into 1960 New York. She shifts time so often, it?s like a Tarentino film on paper-it all comes out in the end, but the timeline was thrown through a blender, so you have to pay attention. It definitely leaves your appetite whetted and wanting for more. Her fiery character Yolanda (or just plain Yo) is the main subject of another of Alvarez's books, cleverly titled "Yo".
Publishers Weekly, 1992-05-11 Fifteen tales vividly chronicle a Dominican family's exile in the Bronx, focusing on the four Garcia daughters' rebellion against their immigrant elders. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1991-04-05 The chronicle of a family in exile that is forced to find a new identity in a new land, these 15 short tales, grouped into three sections, form a rich, novel-like mosaic. Alvarez, whose first fiction this is, has an ear for the dialogue of non-natives, and the strong flavors of Dominican syntax and cultural values permeate these pages. Many parallels may be drawn between these stories and Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club. Central to both are young, first generation American females in rebellion against their immigrant elders, and in both books the stories pile up with layers of multiple points of view and overlapping experiences, building to a sense of family myths in the making. The four Garcia daughters, whom we meet as adults but then re-encounter as children as the narrative flows backward in time, are accustomed to a prestigious perch in Spanish Caribbean society. But political upheavals force Papi and Mami to seek refuge in a more modest way of life in the Bronx, and their little girls become transplants who thrive and desire a far bigger embrace of this new world than the elder Garcias can contemplate or accept. This is an account of parallel odysseys, as each of the four daughters adapts in her own way, and a large part of Alvarez's Gar cia's accomplishment is the complexity with which these vivid characters are rendered. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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