Under the Feet of Jesus by Helena Maria Viramontes
A Novel

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With the same audacity with which John Steinbeck wrote about migrant worker conditions in The Grapes of Wrath and T.C. Boyle in The Tortilla Curtain, Viramontes (The Moths and Other Stories) presents a moving and powerful vision of the lives of the men, women, and children who endure a second-class existence and labor under dangerous conditions in California's fields. This first novel tells the story a young girl, Estrella, and her Latino family as they struggle with arduous farm labor during the summer months, and still manage to latch onto the hope of a liberating future. Viramontes graces the page with poetic touch, artfully describing poverty conditions and bringing to the reader a panoramic view of social consciousness and unforgettable characters.

About Helena Maria Viramontes

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Helena Maria Viramontes is the author of the novel Under the Feet of Jesus and the story collection The Moths. Born and raised in East Los Angeles, California, Ms. Viramontes currently lives in Ithaca, New York, where she is a creative writing professor at Cornell University.
Published April 1, 1996 by Plume. 194 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality. Fiction

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But when the last of their money is taken by the camp's nurse, who merely refers them to a hospital miles away, Estrella makes a defiant stand.

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And the close quarters in which her characters are forced to live promotes a collective intimacy that Viramontes evokes with a sure hand, conveying the solace to be found in solidarity while never losing sight of the fact that these people enjoy absolutely no privacy.

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