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Who Is Julia Alvarez? Explore About Her Career, Net Worth, Awards, & Family

julia alvarez career

Julia Alvarez is an American poet, novelist, and essayist. She is known for her novels How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, Time of the Butterflies, and Yo!. She came to fame after publishing her novel How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (1991). Her own life inspired this novel as they also have to leave their native home.

Who Is Julia Alvarez? How Old Is She? 

Julia Alvarez is an American poet, novelist, and essayist born on 27 March 1950 in New York City, USA. At present, her age is 71 years old, and her birth sign is Aries. 

When she was 13 years old, Julia was sent to a private boarding school for girls, Abbot Academy. In 1967 she went to Connecticut College, where she won the school’s poetry prize.

Later she was transferred to Vermont’s Middlebury College in 1969 and obtained her bachelor of arts degree, summa cum laude, in 1971. She received her master’s degree in Master of Fine Arts from Syracuse University in 1975.

Who Is Julia Alvarez’s Family? 

Julia Alvarez has three siblings as she was the second daughter among four daughters of her parents. She is a Dominican–American as her family is from the Dominican Republic but living in the USA.

In 1950, her family took her to her native home in the Dominican Republic, where she grew in comfort and extended family. As her father was a doctor, her life in the Dominican Republic enjoyed a maid’s services. Her father was active in activity to remove dictator General Rafael Trujillo from the Dominican Republic.

Due to that, in 1960, she and her family fled back to the USA and permanently settled in New York. Expect this; there is not much information about her family.

Is Julia Alvarez Married?

Julia Alvarez married an ophthalmologist Bill Eichner on 3 June 1989. The couple started dating in 1988 and together for more than 33 years. Julia previously had at least one relationship before her husband Bill Eichner but was not previously engaged. The couple, Julia and Bill, have no children.

In 1996 Alvarez and her husband purchased a farm in the Dominican Republic to promote cooperative and independent coffee farming. Julia and Bill live on 11 acres that they farm. 

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Along with her husband Bill Eichner, she created Alta Gracia, a farm-literacy center to promote environmental sustainability and literacy and education worldwide.

How Much Net Worth Does Julia Alvarez Have? Career Insights

Julia Alvarez has an estimated net worth of around $1.2 million. In 1996 Julia and her husband purchased the farm of 11 acres with the intent to promote cooperative and independent coffee farming in the Dominican Republic. The couple had bought more land until they had 260- acre farm over the next two years.

As plants began to bear after eight years, the couple transported duffel bags full-back to roast and give to friends. After a good complement, they began to sell coffee and first team up with Paul Raulston, the owner of the Vermont Coffee Company, who roasts the coffee and distributes it under his Cafe Alta Gracia And Tres Mariposas labels. 

Career As Writer

From a young age, she was good at telling stories and telling stories to the guest. Julia is one of the most successful Latina writers of her time. As a writer, she had written six novels, three books of nonfiction, three collections of poetry, and 11 books for children and young adults.

She had written novels How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, In the Time of the Butterflies, Yo!, In the Name of Salome, Saving the World, Afterlife, collections of poems Homecoming, The Other Side/ El Otro Lado, The Woman I Kept to Myself, nonfiction Something to Declare, Once Upon A Quinceanera, and A Wedding in Haiti, and numerous books for young readers including the Tia Lola Stories series, Before We Were Free, finding miracles, Return to Sender and Where Do They Go?

As a writer, she first published her poet collection Homecoming in 1984. But she came to fame after her first novel was How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents which was published in 1991 and sold over 250,000 copies and was put in American Library Association Notable Book. This novel makes Julia’s family was unhappy with her as her mother did not talk with her after this, and her sisters were also not pleased with the book. Her second novel, Time of the Butterflies, published in 1994, printed more than one million copies.

Work As A Teacher 

Expect writing, she has been involved in education after completing her master’s degree, and she positioned herself as a writer-in-residence for Kentucky Arts Commission.

From 1975 to 1978, she has taught many students and senior citizens from Kentucky, Delaware, and North Carolina. Till 2016 until her retirement, she has taught and mentored writers all across American schools and communities.

She has taught at different universities like the University of Vermont, George Washington University, and the University of Illinois. From 1997 to 1981, she was an English instructor at Phillips Andover Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. In 1988 she was Professor of English and Creative Writing at Middlebury College. 


For her work, she has been awarded many honors and awards. Her first novel won the 1991 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award. The second novel was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts for its national Big Read program. The third was chosen as a notable book by the American Library Association in 1998.

She won Belpre Medal in 2004 and 2010 for We Were Free and Return to Sender. She also received the Hispanic Heritage Award in 2002 and other awards like Pura Belpre, Americas Awards for books for young readers, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award.

From the Academy of American Poets in 1974, she received the Lamont Prize, first prize in narrative from the Third Woman Press Award in 1986, and an award from the General Electric Foundation in 1986.

She also received Latina Leader Award in Literature from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and Woman of the Year by Latina magazine, and inclusion in the New York Public Library’s program “The Hand of the Poet: Original Manuscripts by 100 Masters, from John Donne to Julia Alvarez.”. By the hand of President Obama in 2013, she received the National Medal of Arts.