Writer Julia Álvarez receives recognition from the University of Florida

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The Dominican writer based in the United States Julia Álvarez speaks on June 16, 2008, during an interview with Efe in Mexico, where she affirmed that the virtual Democratic candidate to the White House Barack Obama, reminds her of "Subcomandante Marcos" because both have helped to imagine that another world is possible. EFE / Archive

The Dominican writer Julia Álvarez was awarded the Lawrence A. Sanders Award by the International University of Florida (FIU), in recognition of her creative work, said the study center this week.

The author of “In the Time of the Butterflies” (“In the time of the butterflies”), a novel about the Mirabal sisters, who were murdered during the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961), received this recognition from of the Creative Writing Program of the English Department.

Álvarez thus adds its name to other fiction writers, such as Isabel Allende, Pat Conroy and Richard Ford, who have received this recognition for a work that “combines literary excellence with popular appeal,” according to a press release from FIU.

“Many of her works have won awards and are influenced by her experiences as a first generation Dominican in the United States,” the statement said.

Poet, novelist and essayist, Álvarez was born in New York but grew up in the Dominican Republic until the age of 10, when he and his family had to leave the Caribbean nation because of his father’s connection with the revolution against the dictator Trujillo .

Among his well-known works are also “Yo!” and “How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents” (“How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents”).

“In the Time of the Butterflies” was taken to television with a movie of the same name starring Salma Hayek and Edward James Olmos, among others.

Álvarez received a National Medal of Arts and Humanities in 2014 at an event held at the White House, which was presented by then-President Barack Obama (2009-2017).

“She illustrates the complexity of navigating between two worlds and shows the human capacity to strengthen against oppression,” said the White House that year.

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