A talk by Helena María Viramontes, the award-winning author of this year’s UO Common Reading choice, “Under the Feet of Jesus.” She will discuss “Language as Action,” sharing her thoughts on writing fiction as a form of social justice activism.
“Under the Feet of Jesus” is a lyrical, powerful novel of loss and survival. The book explores the lives of children, women, and men who endure a difficult existence laboring under dangerous conditions as migrant workers in California’s fields. The title refers to birth certificates and other important documents kept in a portable statue of Jesus that moves with a family to each new location along the agricultural production cycle.
Helena María Viramontes is the author of “The Moths and Other Stories,” “Under the Feet of Jesus,” and “Their Dogs Came with Them.” Born and raised in East Los Angeles, Viramontes strives to recreate the visceral sense of a world virtually unknown in mainstream literature and to transform readers through relentlessly compassionate storytelling. A widely celebrated author, Viramontes has been named a Ford Fellow in Literature and been honored with the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature. Currently the Goldwin Smith Professor of English at Cornell University, she is at work on a new novel.
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