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... y no se lo tragó la tierra ... and the Earth Did Not Devour Him

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  1,358 Ratings  ·  121 Reviews
Tomas Rivera's original Spanish-language novel plus a new translation into English by Evangelina Vigil-Pinon. ...y no se lo trago la tierra won the first national award for Chicano literature in 1970 and has become the standard literary text for Hispanic literature classes throughout the country. It is now an award-winning, motion picture entitled And the Earth Did Not Swa ...more
Paperback, 152 pages
Published January 1st 1992 by Arte Publico Press (first published 1971)
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The House on Mango Street by Sandra CisnerosBorderlands/La Frontera by Gloria E. AnzaldúaWoman Hollering Creek and Other Stories by Sandra CisnerosThis Bridge Called My Back by Cherríe L. MoragaThe House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
Chicano Chicana
19th out of 130 books — 70 voters
The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls WilderDriving Over Lemons by Chris  StewartY No Se Lo Trago la Tierra/And The Earth Did Not Devour Him by Tomás RiveraJesse by Gary SotoThe Dandelion Murders by Rebecca Rothenberg
48th out of 74 books — 3 voters

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Community Reviews

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Dec 26, 2007 Monica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found myself flipping through it on Christmas Eve and came across a story called The Night Before Christmas, so of course, I had to read it. The story was beautiful and heart-wrenching, mimicking real life for many poor immigrant families.

I borrowed this one from a friend in an effort to save a few bucks on school books, but the more I read, the more I think I'm going to go ahead and buy my own copy. This is one I'll want to pick up long after this class is over.
Apr 23, 2011 Aaron rated it liked it
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Sherwood Smith
I don't read the horror genre. I guess some people get adrenaline spikes or delicious thrills reading about zombies, or preternaturally clever serial killers or suchlike; when I can bear to, I read novels like this fine translation of Rivera's brilliant work, which scour my soul with horror. Here is a powerful, unrelenting, extraordinarily vivid explication of the misery and grim, distorting effects of culturally sanctioned poverty. And, as such, it's an indictment of the culture that can permit ...more
Johan Garcia
Apr 02, 2012 Johan Garcia rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mateo Grau-rodríguez
Mateo Grau-Rodríguez
per 3
And The Earth Did Not Devour Him
This book is a different type of book from what you normally read. It is fiction that tells a little bit about how farmworkers lives are. This book is written both in English and Spanish. Even though I am a native Spanish speaker, the Spanish in the book was very particular.
This book describes how hard life is for farmworkers. In the book the young boy has to skip school to go work in the farms to earn money for his family. The author
Zabdiel Estrada
Feb 12, 2014 Zabdiel Estrada rated it liked it
This book thought me how hard undocumented people have to work & dedicate their time to support their families and help them economically. Hoping the next day gets better and that their sons/daughter get to go to school & have a better education. Always with a fear to loose those that they love because they don't have papers, when they only come here looking for a second opportunity in life because life in Mexico isn't easy at all. With all that violence, anyone would leave everything be ...more
Sep 19, 2008 Jose rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jose by: A professor
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Jayce Uribe
Jan 16, 2015 Jayce Uribe rated it liked it
Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima enters his life. She is a curandera, one who heals with herbs and magic. 'We cannot let her live her last days in loneliness,' says Antonio's mother. 'It is not the way of our people,' agrees his father. And so Ultima comes to live with Antonio's family in New Mexico. Soon Tony will journey to the threshold of manhood. Always, Ultima watches over him. She graces him with the courage to face childhood bigotry, diabolical possession, the moral collapse of ...more
Lily Wangler
Feb 21, 2015 Lily Wangler rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful book. Stop reading reviews and go read the book. For now, I've only read the English translation. (I'll have to read the Spanish version over the summer, when I have more time.)

The writing techniques employed by Tomás Rivera do an incredible job of creating unity out of disjointedness. It could be a bit confusing at first because each story has a different narrator and is about a different person, but if you can remember that then it's quite clear and beautiful. "... Y no se
Juana Guerra
Feb 10, 2014 Juana Guerra rated it really liked it
I thought it was a really great book. It was a little confusing because it suddenly changed from stories. But i kinda caught on to it. I also liked that that i could relate to it. And i could feel as if i was living what they lived. Also as if i was the one who was going through all of those kinds of things. I really enjoyed the chapter where the guy stays with the two old persons, and later on gets to see through them, the real them, how they would still food and things. even to the part where ...more
Jul 13, 2016 Dana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school-books
This book is split in half. The first half is written entirely in Spanish while the second half is in English. As a person who speaks no Spanish, it was cool to go back and forth from the two halves to get an understanding to what the words meant.

This book gave a very interesting view into the migrant workers of the United States. Not only are there the testimonials from the people themselves, there are also little vignettes into each person's life.

There are small aspects of dark humor througho
Feb 08, 2013 Kaya rated it really liked it
... and the earth did not devour him was a truly inspiring book to read. these short stories give you more insight then a 2 hour documentary on the migrant farm workers experience. this book talks about love, friendship, family, illness, cruelty,etc.
some of us have heard about the migrant workers struggles, if you have not then i encourage you to read this book or get some background information on the topic. if you want to learn about the experience but either never got to it, or just never f
This book was an incredible masterpiece. When i started reading it, i was kind of confused by the order of the vignettes. But then i kept reading it and started to understand how it was organized.
I really truly loved the book. I personally loved it because i am Mexican. I was born in Mexico and came from Mexico to the United States.
This really brings out the experiences from Mexican immigrants. For example, where some of these Mexicans die from diseases, dehydration, starvation, and exhausti
Antonio Grijalva
Oct 04, 2012 Antonio Grijalva rated it it was amazing
The title of this book gives me a different thought about it. Eventhough there are hardships of being a Mexican raised in a farm, there is always a way to become someone better than youy can. Also, that the world is always against you and trying to see you fail, but you will be the one at the end to show who's the bigger person. A lost year, a year when a person is trying to figure out who who they really are. Full of questions and confusion, the narrator, is having a year in where he doesnt eve ...more
Oct 04, 2012 Judit rated it it was amazing
I Believe this book was about how life can be thought to young people that some believe that everything they say can turn out to be true when really its more like to see if you are mature enough to see how well you take things how can they be solve or even how much it affects you basically prepare you for the real life depending if it will happen to you or not all does believes that our parents have of an example outing a glass of water under your bead for souls that's believes they have and its ...more
Apr 19, 2014 Julia rated it liked it
so i should actually be writing an english essay that i haven't started, so this should not be a thing i'm doing right now, but oh well, alas, etc. i forgot how much i missed reading stuff that plays with narrative form. i forgot how cool it is to read books that remind you how ignorant you are, how much there is to learn and know. my reading has been pretty western-canony lately, so this was refreshing. translation was a little weird sometimes, though. unnatural dialogue.
Jun 09, 2015 Colleen rated it liked it
I read this for a class. I'm certain I'm not reading it as deeply as others. The short stories were intriguing and reminded me of stories from many people I have known. (I used to work as an ESL teacher for migrant workers.) I felt the tie-in was very clever. But overall the writing wasn't at a level that hit me at my core. I understand why it might for others, but it didn't for me.
Feb 08, 2013 Shelbysa rated it really liked it
This book was like a painting to me. It really explored the migrant worker experience. The vignettes were amazing. I liked how it was a story of a child growing up in this experience. I really feel bad for the boy in the story because he had to go through some tough stuff in his life. At times he did not know what to do in a situation and that made it like a mystery.

This book did not only speak about Mexican migrant farm worker experiences, but the book also speaked through Japanese american ex
May 07, 2014 Nathan rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I enjoyed this book, as it demonstrated vast trials and tribulations that immigrants, particularly the Hispanic immigrants, often go through upon their arrival. I perhaps could have used a few more vignettes, as the book came up a little bit short...or perhaps a different style in some parts. Overall, enjoyable read...understandable for its importance in the genre.
Apr 30, 2014 Christy rated it it was amazing
Initially confusing to read as I was expecting this to be a novel as described on the back cover of the edition I borrowed from the library. When the vignettes spliced together on a community level instead of the individual level that I was anticipating, it was a much more enjoyable read. To get the full impact of the stories, I needed to savor each one.
Cade Ivy
Feb 08, 2013 Cade Ivy rated it really liked it
I liked that I the book skipped around but still made sense. I liked how the book played with your emotions and set a mood. I also liked that there were poems and stories in the back of the book that were not just from Hispanic farm workers. This collage of stories pieces together the life of this migrant boy with bits and details of the highlights and I was appreciative of. The themes here are priceless and numerous which makes me understand how little themes can make a large impact on your lif ...more
Michael Flores
Jul 25, 2014 Michael Flores rated it it was amazing
I loved how the fragmented, broken, non-linear narrative dramatizes the constant, uncertain movements that make up the lives of migrant worker families. This novel hit close to home as my grandmother suffered almost her whole life because of the dehumanizing actions of the employers she worked for as a migrant worker.
Jun 28, 2014 Jennifer rated it liked it
I read the book in English and do not know how much of a difference that makes...

The book is written in a series of vignettes rather than a large, singular plot. It tackles a variety of subjects. In form and in some of the family based topics, it reminds me of Sandra Cisneros' "House on Mango Street."
Apr 01, 2014 Amelia-Marie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Latino, interests Latino lit, and of migrant workers.
Recommended to Amelia-Marie by: Liberal Studies Class
Shelves: liberal-studies
This was a wonderful novel. Now, some of you might say, "Novel? Isn't this a series of vignettes?". It's both, I'm happy to say. It's a novel, stylized as a series of vignettes. This is because the first and last stories in the novel create a connecting arc, through the italics at the end. Quite fascinating, aside from the actual subject matter, which is still relevant to the troubles of migrant workers today.
May 27, 2014 Jessie rated it really liked it
A short book with big insight. The stories in this book give the reader an idea of the difficulty of being an immigrant and migrant worker, while also allowing any reader to relate to the growing pains associated with getting older and trying to figure life out. Beyond that, it has a unique prose style that keeps me interested.
Ana Raudales
Oct 03, 2012 Ana Raudales rated it it was amazing
1.) To me the title of this book means that we can have a plethora of problems in our lives and how things will get better.

2.) In this book,A factor that influence/ determine our identity is the way our parents raised us, what they tough us, and the place that we were raised in.

3.) The boy, confused and curious, was raised in a farm. If I were to be a farm worker, my life will be hard, and probably i woulnt have an education. Insted of going to school i will be working. In the book, the boy talk
John Cutler
Fourth or fifth time I've read this book, but strangely, the first time I read it entirely in English. It's a compact, dense portrait of migrant farmworkers in South Texas during the early 1950s, a classic of Mex-Am literature. Gets better with each reading.
Feb 08, 2013 Peyton rated it liked it
I thought that this book was a good overview of the migrant workers experiences. At some points it was very confusing, but it was still good. This book shows day to day struggles for these workers. It showed me a different perspective of the world, or on a smaller scale it gave me another perspective of the US. I enjoyed reading all the different vignettes, it gave the book character and style. They were each (for the most part) written by different authors, so they all had different stories and ...more
Aarin Wright
May 22, 2015 Aarin Wright rated it it was amazing
WOO this was the first book I read completely in Spanish for fun. And wow, was it an interesting and painful read. It really gave a glimpse of the difficulties of border life, bought through touching short stories and vignettes.
Devi Guerrero
Apr 08, 2014 Devi Guerrero rated it it was amazing
Libro extraordinario de la cultura Chicana. Muestra Los horrores de la pobreza, la impotencia y la busqueda de romper con las tradiciones que tienen a pueblo en la miseria y la ignorancia. Es liberador, lo recomiendo enormemente.
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Tomás Rivera (December 22, 1935 – May 16, 1984) was a Chicano author, poet, and educator. He was born in Texas to migrant farm workers, and had to work in the fields as a young boy. However, he achieved social mobility through education—gaining a degree at Southwest Texas State University (now known as Texas State University), and later a PhD at the University of Oklahoma—and came to believe stron ...more
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