Para salvar el mundo

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Alfaguara, 2006 - Fiction - 550 pages
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Álvarez's celebrated new novel takes us into the worlds of two women swept up in campaigns against the scourges of their day: Alma, a Latin American novelist relocated to the United States, who is having writer's block while writing her new bestselling family sagas, and Isabel's story many years before. A brilliant novel-within-a-novel, Para salvar al mundo pits ambition against altruism and, in the process, tells the radiant stories of two courageous women.
While writing her novel, Alma is sidetracked by the story of a much earlier idealist, Francisco Xavier Balmis, who in 1803 undertook to vaccinate the populations of Spain's American colonies against smallpox. To do this, he needed living "carriers" of the vaccine; otherwise, the vaccine would not survive the travel time across the ocean. Enter Isabel Sendales y Gómez, director of La Casa de Expositós. Isabel selects twenty-two orphan boys to be the carriers and joins them on the voyage to the colonies. Her bravery inspires a very different novel from Alma.

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About the author (2006)

Julia Alvarez was born in New York City on March 27, 1950 and was raised in the Dominican Republic. Before becoming a full-time writer, she traveled across the country with poetry-in-the-schools programs and then taught at the high school level and the college level. In 1991, she earned tenure at Middlebury College and published her first book How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent, which won the PEN Oakland/Jefferson Miles Award for excellence in 1991. Her other works include In the Time of the Butterflies, The Other Side of El Otro Lado, and Once upon a Quinceañera: Coming of Age in the USA.

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