…y no se lo trago la tierra


by Tomás Rivera

ISBN: 978-1-55885-151-1
Publication Date: 1996
Bind: Trade Paperback
Pages: 120
Ages: 11 & up

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“I tell you, God could care less about the poor. Tell me, why must we live here like this? What have we done to deserve this? You’re so good and yet you suffer so much,” a young boy tells his mother in Tomás Rivera’s classic novel about the migrant worker experience, … y no se lo tragó la tierra. Outside the chicken coop that is their home, his father wails in pain from the unbearable cramps brought on by sunstroke from working in the hot fields. The young boy can’t understand his parents’ faith in a god that would impose such horrible suffering, poverty, and injustice on innocent people.

Adapted into the award-winning film … and the earth did not swallow him and recipient of the first award for Chicano literature, the Premio Quinto Sol, in 1970, Rivera’s masterpiece recounts the experiences of a Mexican-American community through the eyes of a young boy. Forced to leave their home in search of work, they are exploited by farmers, shopkeepers, even other Mexican Americans, and the boy must forge his self identity in the face of exploitation, death and disease, constant moving, and conflicts with school officials.

“This book tells its stories through the eyes of a young boy, the child of migrant farm workers. Together the stories create a real world, one which evokes wonder, fear and sadness, then frustration and rage as the narrator grows. Very well translated.” —Books of the Southwest

TOMÁS RIVERA (1935-1984) was born to a family of migrant farm workers in the South Texas town of Crystal City. In spite of moving constantly to work the crops, Rivera managed to graduate from high school. He went on to obtain a degree in English from Southwest Texas State University. He then earned a master’s degree in Spanish literature and a doctorate in Romance Languages and Literatures. He became a university administrator, and in 1979 he was appointed chancellor of the University of California, Riverside, a position he held for five years until his sudden death in 1984. His books published by Arte Público Press include The Harvest (1989), The Searchers (1990), the collection Tomás Rivera: The Complete Works (1991), and …y no se lo trago de la tierra / And the Earth Did Not Devour Him (1992).

Accelerated Reader Quiz #20912 | ATOS English: 4.8 | ATOS Interest Level: Upper Grade