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Julia Alvarez Launch of Her Novel The Cemetery of Untold Stories

Julia Alvarez Launch of Her Novel The Cemetery of Untold Stories

New York, NY, March 22, 2024 –On April 3, the literary icon, Julia Alvarez (How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent, In the Time of the Butterflies), will celebrate the launch of her latest novel, “The Cemetery of Untold Stories,” in partnership with Word Up Community Bookshop at the United Palace in Washington Heights. Alvarez will be in conversation with two fellow Dominican-American bestselling authors Angie Cruz (Dominicana, How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water) and Elizabeth Acevedo (The Poet X, Family Lore). The book will be published simultaneously in English and Spanish.

In the center of the largest Dominican diaspora in the world, and at the majestic 94-year-old theater in the heart of the Heights, these three generations of authors will come together for a discussion of Alvarez’s work and its impact. In the foreword to the 30th anniversary edition of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, Acevedo writes, “A generation of writers were empowered to pick up their pens after they first picked up this book… (Alvarez) proved that our shared island and the people we come from have rich and nuanced stories that deserve to be told.” It will be a night of literary star power and a celebration of the rich legacy of storytelling from Dominican-American novelists.

The Cemetery of Untold Stories tells the story of Alma, a celebrated author who inherits a plot of land in her homeland of the Dominican Republic, where she chooses to bury the drafts of unfinished manuscripts from throughout her career–a graveyard for the characters whose stories she never finished. Yet the characters and their stories won’t stay buried, as the ghosts of these characters come to life and speak with each other about the past. This novel asks the question: Whose stories get to be told, and whose are buried?

Ticket/event information: The event begins at 7pm (doors open at 6pm). Tickets with a book included are $30 for English books, and $22 for the book in Spanish. All books purchased with tickets will be signed, but there will be no signing after the event. A ticket with no book costs $10 for adults and $5 for children. The event will also be livestreamed for a ticket price of $8. The United Palace is located at 4140 Broadway, New York, NY 10033 in Washington Heights. This venue is fully wheelchair accessible. There will be Spanish and ASL interpreters onsite.

This program is supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Word Up Community Bookshop’s programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Julia Alvarez is the author of six novels, three nonfiction books, three poetry collections, and eleven books for children and young adults. In the Time of the Butterflies, with over one million copies in print, was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts for its national Big Read program, and in 2013 President Obama awarded Alvarez the National Medal of Arts in recognition of her extraordinary storytelling.

Angie Cruz is the author of the novels How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water, Soledad, Let It Rain Coffee, and Dominicana, which was shortlisted for The Women’s Prize and a Good Morning America Book Club pick. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Aster(ix), a literary and arts journal, and is an associate professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh.

Elizabeth Acevedo is the bestselling and award-winning author of The Poet X, With the Fire on High, Clap When You Land, and Family Lore. She holds a BA in Performing Arts from The George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. She is a National Poetry Slam Champion, and resides in Washington, DC.

Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria is a multilingual, collectively operated bookshop and arts space in Washington Heights. Embracing cooperative practices, Word Up champions books and storytelling in all forms to build and sustain a more just world, and strives to make the Washington Heights neighborhood a resource-rich site for all. Word Up Community Bookshop is the assumed name of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization Seven Stories Institute.


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