Published in 1995, Helena Maria Viramontes’s Under the Feet of Jesus, a coming-of-age story about a young girl in a family of migrant laborers, is a classic novel of Chicano/a Literature. Critics have compared the book, which centers on the struggle of Mexican and Mexican-American farmworkers in California, to John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath for its illumination of the lives of the people who grow America’s food. Viramontes, a Chicana from a working-class family in East Los Angeles, is the recipient of numerous honors, including the John Don Passos Prize for Literature.


Read our full plot summary of Under the Feet of Jesus or chapter-by-chapter breakdowns.


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