Summary Of How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents

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Julia Alvarez is a famous author from the Dominican Republic. She is most known for winning the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles book award in 1991 for her novel How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (Barth). Alvarez’s Dominican background and her immigration to the United States influenced her writing, especially in the novel How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents.
Alvarez was born in New York in 1950 but lived the first ten years of her life in the Dominican Republic. At the time, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina, a ruthless tyrant, held a dictatorship over the Dominican Republic (Barth). How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents takes place at the time of this dictatorship. Alvarez’s father was involved in a plot to overthrow Rafael Trujillo and moved his family back to New York when it failed (Barth). This abrupt uprooting was a culture shock to Alvarez who was used to the traditional Dominican culture (Shuman). In her novel How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, Alvarez describes the struggles that result when children are uprooted from their Dominican culture.
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents explores the complications four sisters face when trying to immerse themselves in American culture. This includes religion, language barriers, fitting in at American schools, physical appearance, and family dynamics. Alvarez writes about many of the same struggles she faced during her own cultural transition.
In both Alvarez’s and the Garcia sisters’ experience, learning the
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