The García sisters—Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sofía—and their family must flee their home in the Dominican Republic after the discovery of their father’s role in an attempt to overthrow the brutal dictator Rafael Trujillo. They arrive in New York City in 1960 to a life far removed from their existence in the Caribbean. In the wondrous but not always welcoming United States, their parents try to hold on to their old ways as the girls try to find new lives: by straightening their hair and wearing American fashions, and by forgetting their Spanish. For them, it is at once liberating and excruciating to be caught between the old world and the new. In Julia Alvarez’s beloved first novel, How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, the sisters tell their stories about being at home—and not at home—in America.
Penguin Vitae—loosely translated as “Penguin of one’s life”—is a deluxe hardcover series from Penguin Classics celebrating a dynamic and diverse landscape of classic fiction and nonfiction from seventy-five years of classics publishing. Penguin Vitae provides readers with beautifully designed classics that have shaped the course of their lives, and welcomes new readers to discover these literary gifts of personal inspiration, intellectual engagement, and creative originality.