Print ISBN: 978-1-64265-744-9
# of Pages: 230
# of Volumes: 1
Print List Price: $105
e-ISBN: 978-1-64265-745-6
eBook User Price: $105
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Critical Insights: How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents

Editor: Kimberly Drake
March 2021

Julia Alvarez's 1991 novel How the García Girls Lost Their Accents is an important contribution to recent Latinx and multicultural literature. Exhibiting an intriguing structure and dealing with themes such as initiation and maturation that are relevant to people everywhere and in all eras, the novel is also significant for its treatment of women, immigrants, and recent socioeconomic, political, and cultural issues. This volume explores the different dimensions of Alvarez’s novel, setting it in various relevant contexts while also giving due attention to its impressive artistic achievements.

This volume, like all others in the Critical Insights series, is divided into several sections. It begins with an introductory piece—“‘The Origin of All Poems,” Pan-America, and Poetic Imperialism in How the García Girls Lost Their Accents,” by volume editor Kimberly Drake. This is followed by a Biography of Julia Alvarez, also written by editor Drake.

A collection of four critical contexts essays are intended to treat the novel

  • From a historical vantage point
  • In terms of its critical reception
  • Using a specific critical lens
  • And by comparing and contrasting it with another important work.

This section opens with an article by Evelyn Boria-Rivera titled, “The Cold War Within: Laura as a Double Agent in How the García Girls Lost Their Accents,” followed by a piece written by Robert C. Evans, “Julia Alvarez’s How the García Girls Lost Their Accents: A Survey of Early Reviews.” This essay focuses on a survey of criticism of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents from the years closely following its release.

The following two articles are written by Jessica Wells Cantiello and editor Drake respectively. The first, “Mujercitas: How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, Little Women and Intertextuality,” explores the relationship between Alvarez’s How the García Girls Lost Their Accents and Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. The final essay, “Yoyo and Pila: The Disabled Body and the Violent Gaze,” discusses Yolanda’s colonial, white supremacist, and class-based violence.

Following these four Critical Context essays is the Critical Readings section of this book, which contains the following essays:

  • The Specter of Haiti and Race in How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, Norrell Edwards
  • “No Trespassing”: Language, Madness, and Patriarchy in How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, Nereida Segura-Rico
  • Returning to the Past: Recuperative Memory and Reverse Chronology in How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, Daniel Archer
  • Losing and Finding Dominicanidad: Julia Alvarez and Junot Díaz in the Latinx Canon, Ruth McHugh-Dillon
  • Bulls, Monkeys, and Birds: Animals Imagery in Julia Alvarez’ How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, Rosann Simeroth
  • Julia Alvarez: A Survey of Interviews, Robert C. Evans

In the final section, Resources, easy-to-follow lists are provided to help guide the reader through important dates and moments in the author’s life. A selection of further reading is then provided. Each essay in Critical Insights: How the García Girls Lost Their Accents includes a list of Works Cited and detailed endnotes. Also included in this volume is a Chronology of Julia Alvarez’s Life, a list of Additional Works by Julia Alvarez, a Bibliography, biographies of the Editor and Contributors, and an alphabetical Index.

The Critical Insights Series distills the best of both classic and current literary criticism of the world’s most studies literature. Edited and written by some of academia’s most distinguished literary scholars, Critical Insights: How the García Girls Lost Their Accents provides authoritative, in-depth scholarship that students and researchers will rely on for years. This volume is destined to become a valuable purchase for all.


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