Julia Alvarez was born in New York City on March 27, 1950. She is the oldest of four daughters. At three months old Eduardo and Julia Alvarez returned to their homeland, where they lived in the Dominican Republic amongst her extended family up until 1960. Julia attended private school, where she learned to speak English. Her family fled the Dominican Republic for the United States because of her father’s involvement in a plot to overthrow dictator, Rafael Trujillo. The family lived Jamaica Estates, Queens, and Julia’s father worked as a doctor in Brooklyn. In 1971, Julia received her Bachelor of Arts at Middlebury College in Vermont; she graduated Summa Cum Laude. In 1975, Julia received her masters of fine arts degree from Syracuse University. She taught at the University of Vermont, George Washington University, University of Illinois, and Middlebury College. In 1989, Julia married Dr. Bill Eichner, an ophthalmologist and farmer. He is her 3rd husband, and Julia has 2 stepdaughters. In 1991, Julia earned tenure at Middlebury College and published her first novel, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents. In 1996, Julia developed a farm and literacy center called Alta Gracia. Julia is presently the Writer-in-Residence at Middlebury College, where she teaches creative writing part-time, advises Latino students, and serves as an outside reader for creative writing theses.