||Handwritten and typescript drafts, page proofs, galleys, correspondence, research
materials and notes, legal and editorial records, photographs, audio and video
recordings, floppy disks, awards, books, notebooks, journals, magazines, newspaper
clippings, periodicals, posters, and maps document the life, work, and family
Julia Alvarez from 1963 to 2013. The eight series are arranged by size and/or
importance: I. Long Works, 1966-2012; II. Short Works, 1963-2012; III. Career
Personal, 1966-2014; IV. Public Appearances, 1998-2008; V. Correspondence,
1974-2013; VI. Publicity, 1981-2012; VII. Notebooks, 1975-1990; VIII. Periodicals,
1971-2013. With the exception of the arrangement of long works and short works,
which the order has largely been imposed, each series maintains the original order
and reflects Alvarez's meticulous record-keeping activities. Although a number
languages are present (most notably Spanish) the bulk of the materials are written
in English. All items are in stable condition.
||Series I. is divided into two subseries: A. Novels and Collections and B. Children's
and Young Adult Works. The Series constitutes just over half of the Alvarez papers,
documenting her literary activities from 1971 to 2012. Several unrealized works
present in addition to her published novels, poetry collections, children's and
young adult fiction, and nonfiction works. Research materials relating to In the Name of Salomé, finding miracles, Return to Sender,
Once Upon a Quinceañera, and Saving the World are particularly extensive. Materials
relating to book tours for individual works are located in Series IV. Public
Appearances (1998-2008), and the bulk of publicity materials for most works are
located in Series VI. Publicity (1981-2012).
||Subseries A. Novels and Collections includes numerous handwritten and typescript
drafts, page proofs, galleys, correspondence, clippings, research materials, and
limited publicity for Apothecary Jars ((an unrealized
1983 work containing materials that would form the basis of chapters in How the García Girls Lost Their Accents),
A Cafecito Story (2001), Homecoming (1984), The Housekeeping Book
(1984), How the García Girls Lost Their
Accents (1991), The Land Columbus Loved Best
(unrealized work 1991-1992), In the Name of
Salomé (2000), Once Upon a
Quinceañera (2007), The Other Side/El
Otro Lado (1995), Saving the World
(2006), Seven Trees (1998), Something to Declare (1998), In the Time of the
Butterflies (1994), A Wedding in Haiti
(2012), The Woman I Kept to Myself (2004), and ¡Yo! (1997). No complete typescripts are
present for Old Age Ain't for Sissies (1979), but
materials relating to this edited anthology of poetry are present in Series III.
Career and Personal. Subseries A. is arranged alphabetically by title, and items
under each title are generally arranged chronologically and/or alphabetically
folder title, or by the author's original order (when discernible).
||Shannon Ravenel was Alvarez's primary editor for her Algonquin Books publications
a correspondent with whom she maintained a close professional relationship. Although
many of Alvarez's drafts contain Ravenel's editorial revisions and comments, such
edits are only noted in the finding aid when it distinguishes between drafts.
Extensive notes and background materials relating to Alvarez's works of historical
fiction and nonfiction (e.g., In the Time of the
Butterflies and In the Name of
Salomé) provide ample evidence of her preliminary research
activities. The author typically created research files with folders containing
correspondence, printouts, photocopies, notes, and other materials relevant to
work. She often pasted photographs or artwork cut from publications to the folders
as a mnemonic device, and all such folders were retained during processing and
rehousing. Alvarez's writing process is well documented in materials for her first
novel-length work How the García Girls Lost Their
Accents (1991). Numerous early chapter drafts--first published as
individual essays--and later typescripts provide evidence of the evolution of
work. Photocopies of published early versions of García Girls chapters and typescript and handwritten drafts of
Woman I Kept to Myself, Homecoming, and The Other Side are
arranged under Short Works. A few handwritten early versions of stories in How the García Girls Lost Their Accents are
present in Series VII. Notebooks, 1975-1990.
||Subseries B. Children's and Young Adult Works includes handwritten and typescript
drafts, page proofs, correspondence, clippings, research materials, and limited
publicity for Before We Were Free (2002), The Best Gift of All (2008), finding miracles (2004), A Gift of Gracias: The
Legend of Altagracia (2004), Return to
Sender (2009), The Secret Footprints (2000),
and the Tía Lola Series. (2001-2011). The
subseries is arranged alphabetically by title, and items under each title are
generally arranged chronologically or by the author's original order (if
discernible). Tía Lola Series titles are arranged alphabetically under the
heading "Tía Lola Series" and include How
Tía Lola Came to V̶i̶s̶i̶t̶ Stay (2001), How
Tía Lola Ended Up Starting Over (2011), How Tía Lola Learned to Teach (2010), and How Tía Lola Saved the Summer (2011). Materials
relating to all four of these works are arranged chronologically at the end of
||Series II. Short Works includes numerous typescript and handwritten drafts of
published and unpublished essays, short stories, op-eds, articles, and poems.
chapter drafts from her longer works are intermingled with items in this subseries.
The Series documents her early publication efforts from the 1960s and 1970s through
her years as an established author and is arranged alphabetically by the original
titles Alvarez assigned to groupings of associated works. Among the various subjects
included are "Autobiography, "
" Place Essays," and "Poetry in the Schools." All titles are listed in the Index of Short
||Series III. Career and Personal is the second largest series. Employment files,
awards and honors, correspondence, grant and fellowship applications, invitations
and writing requests, graduate school files, publication efforts, research,
interviews, public appearances, teaching, and writer-in-residence activities
document Julia Alvarez's career as a writer, poet, teacher, and professor. Although
some juvenilia and personal and family materials are present, the series largely
represents her professional life. Her activities as a writer-in-residence and
teacher from the 1970s to the 1990s are particularly well documented. The Series
arranged alphabetically by subject and/or folder title.
||Series IV. Readings and Other Public Appearances includes correspondence, occasional
typescripts, and other materials related to her numerous speaking engagements
throughout the country. Engaging with the public through poetry and the literary
arts has constituted a major part of Alvarez's career as evidenced through frequent
participation in poetry festivals, book tours, reading requests, Latino festivals,
library events, commencement addresses, and small local gigs. Alvarez maintained
thorough record of these events from 1998 to 2008. Additional files on assorted
public engagements from 1985 to 2010 are filed under "Public Appearances" in Series III. Career and Personal. Series IV is
arranged chronologically by year and then alphabetically by subject.
||Series V. Correspondence spans 12 boxes and is organized alphabetically by
correspondent name. Individuals are represented either by incoming or outgoing
letters from 1971 to 2013. The series includes correspondence with friends,
colleagues, editors, activists, family, and other associates. Prominent
correspondents include Peter Balakian, Daisy Cocco-DeFilippis, Edwidge Danticat,
Seamus Heaney, David Huddle, Erica Jong, Patrick J. Leahy, Beatriz Maggi, Cecilia
Rodríguez Milanés, Barry Moser, Katherine Neville, Achy Obejas,
Sue Ellen Thomson, Bernardo Vega, A. J. Verdelle, Tobias Wolff, and Judith Yarnall.
||Series VI. Publicity, spans five boxes and comprises review clippings, awards,
publicity tour materials, press clippings for Before We Were
A Cafecito Story,
Gift of Gracias,
Once Upon a Quinceañera,
In the Name of Salomé,
The Secret Footprints,
In the Time of the Butterflies, and ¡Yo! along with publicity materials for her
poetry collections. The series also includes publicity and review materials for
film adaptation of In the Time of the Butterflies and
general publicity about Alvarez. Materials are arranged alphabetically by title
||Series VII. Notebooks is the smallest series and comprises notebooks with handwritten
drafts of a number of short stories including early versions of short stories
would eventually become chapters in How the García
Girls Lost Their Accents. The series is arranged according to original
order. Drafts are indexed in the Index of Short Works.
||Series VIII. Periodicals includes published magazines, journals, poetry collections,
and other serial publications containing works by Julia Alvarez from 1971 to 2013.
The series is arranged alphabetically by journal title.
A Note on Arrangement and Description
||Unless otherwise stated, the phrase with revisions
indicates that the manuscript contains handwritten (as opposed to typescript)
changes. Folder titles are generally transcribed directly from the original folder
headings and are only placed in quotation marks if they appear confusing.