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Although Julia Alvarez was born in New York City, her family moved to the Dominican Republic shortly after her birth, where she spent the majority of her childhood. In 1960, when Alvarez was 10, her family returned to the United States, fleeing the Dominican Republic because of her father's involvement in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the dictator Rafael Trujillo. Alvarez calls herself an American, yet her writing bridges the realms of Latina and American culture. Alvarez's latest books include "Return to Sender" (2009) and "Once Upon a Quinceañera: Coming of Age in the USA" (2007).