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            Julia Alvarez


            Julia Alvarez, the second of four daughters, was born in New York City on March 27, 1950, but her parents brought her home to their native Dominican Republic when she was less than a month old. Her father, a doctor, was active in the underground movement against the dictator General Rafael Trujillo. Because of these activities, the Alvarez family was forced to flee the Dominican Republic in August 1960, and resettled permanently in New York. At the age of thirteen, Julia Alvarez was sent by her parents to Abbot Academy, a private boarding school for girls.

            Alvarez entered Connecticut College in 1967; while a student there, she won the school's poetry prize. In 1969, she transferred to Middlebury College in Vermont, where she attained a bachelor of arts degree, summa cum laude, in 1971. She earned an M.F.A. (master of fine arts) degree at Syracuse University in 1975, and also attended the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury in 1979-1980. In addition to her writing, she has been professionally involved in education for nearly a quarter of a century. She taught creative writing to schoolchildren in Kentucky, to bilingual students in Delaware, and to senior citizens in North Carolina, from 1975 to 1978. She was an instructor in English at Phillips Andover Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, from 1979 to 1981. She has taught at the University of Vermont, at George Washington University, and at the University of Illinois. Since 1988, she has taught at Middlebury College, her alma mater, where she is Professor of English and Creative Writing. She has won numerous grants and awards, and her work has appeared in several anthologies. On June 3, 1989, she married Bill Eichner, an ophthalmologist.