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Native Country

 

Available April 2, 2019

Native Country of the Heart: Cherríe Moraga and Rigoberto González

Wednesday April 3, 2019
07:00 pm

Tags: Event

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From the celebrated editor of This Bridge Called My BackCherríe Moraga charts her own coming-of-age alongside her mother’s decline, and also tells the larger story of the Mexican American diaspora. Native Country of the Heart: A Memoir is, at its core, a mother-daughter story. The mother, Elvira, was hired out as a child, along with her siblings, by their own father to pick cotton in California’s Imperial Valley. The daughter, Cherríe Moraga, is a brilliant, pioneering, queer Latina feminist. The story of these two women, and of their people, is woven together in an intimate memoir of critical reflection and deep personal revelation. 

 

As Moraga charts her mother’s journey—from impressionable young girl to battle-tested matriarch to, later on, an old woman suffering under the yoke of Alzheimer’s—she traces her own self-discovery of her gender-queer body and Lesbian identity, as well as her passion for activism and the history of her pueblo. As her mother’s memory fails, Moraga is driven to unearth forgotten remnants of a U.S. Mexican diaspora, its indigenous origins, and an American story of cultural loss.

 

Poetically wrought and filled with insight into intergenerational trauma, Native Country of the Heart is a reckoning with white American history and a piercing love letter from a fearless daughter to the mother she will never lose.

 

Moraga read and then discussed the process of writing her memoir with Rigoberto Gonzalez. 

 


 

Cherríe MoragaCherríe Moraga is a writer and cultural activist whose work serves to disrupt the dominant narratives of gender, race, sexuality, feminism, indigeneity, and literature inthe United States. A co-founder of Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, Moraga co-edited the highly influential volume This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color in 1981. After twenty years as an Artist-in-Residence in Theater a tStanford University, Moraga was appointed a professor in the Department of English atthe University of California, Santa Barbara in 2018, where, with her artistic partner Celia Herrera Rodríguez, she instituted Las Maestras Center for Xicana Indigenous Thought and Art Practice. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Theatre Playwriting Fellowship Award and a United States Artist Rockefeller Fellowship for Literature.

 

 Rigoberto GonzálezRigoberto González is the author of many books of poetry and prose, including the poetry collection The Book of Ruin, recently published by Four Way Books, and the memoirs What Drowns the Flowers in Your Mouth, finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award, and Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, winner of the American Book Award. He is a contributing editor for Poets & Writers magazine, serves on the board of trustees of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), and is a professor of English and director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey.