88 pages 2 hours read

Tomás Rivera

And The Earth Did Not Devour Him

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1971

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And the Earth Did Not Devour Him

  • Genre: Novel; autobiographical fiction
  • Originally Published: 1971
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 690L; college/adult
  • Structure/Length: 14 chapters; approx. 152 pages
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: Over the course of a year, the young narrator observes important moments in his community of Mexican migrant workers. He recounts struggles and strength as he ponders memory, dream, reality, and their intersection.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Suicide, racism, anxiety attacks; discriminatory labor conditions; guns and shooting 

Tomás Rivera, Author

  • Bio: Born 1935; died 1984; worked with his family as a farm laborer; earned BA and M.Ed. from Southwest Texas State University; earned PhD from University of Oklahoma; taught in high schools and universities; wrote poems, short stories, novels, and scholarly works; participated in civic activities and groups with a focus on education and youth; became first Mexican American chancellor in the University of California system; And the Earth Did Not Devour Him adapted to film in 1994
  • Other Works: Always and Other Poems (1973); This Migrant Earth (1985); The Searchers: Collected Poetry (1990)
  • Awards: Quinto Sol Prize

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • The Power of Storytelling
  • The Interdependence of Paradoxical Elements: Hope/Despair, Good/Bad, Light/Dark

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will:

  • Develop an understanding of the historical and sociological contexts regarding the history of migration’s effect on the perception of migrant workers that incites the narrator’s dilemma.