Novelist, poet, and essayist Julia Alvarez writes complex examinations of the multicultural Latin American experience by employing her Dominican heritage and melding it with her American nationality.
Although Alvarez was born in New York, she lived with her family in the Dominican Republic until the age of ten, fleeing the country with her family after her father became too closely involved with a political rebellion. Considering this early childhood experience, it's safe to say that the cultural influence on Alvarez's writing stems from her transnational background, her father's political involvement, and her experience as a woman embodying more than one cultural identity.
Through multiple genres of writing, Alvarez draws on her personal experience to examine issues of cultural identity (brought on by her experience being raised on the cusp of two starkly different countries: the U.S. and the Dominican Republic), the expectations placed on migrating Latinos to assimilate to American culture, and how these expectations affect Latin American women in particular.
Alvarez's writing also carries political undertones influenced by father's involvement in a political rebellion. Latin American politics and how they affect the greater majority of working-class Latinos serves as a central focus in her creative works.