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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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5. Masculine Heroes   



12. Migrant
Struggle


•  Unit Overview
•  Using the Video
•  Authors
- Rudolfo A. Anaya
- Carlos Bulosan
- Robinson Jeffers
- Alberto Ríos
- Tomas Rivera
- Muriel Rukeyser
- Upton Sinclair
- John Steinbeck
- Henry David Thoreau
- Helena Maria Viramontes
- Suggested
Author
Pairings
•  Timeline
•  Activities

Authors

The information for each author includes biographical and contextual materials and activities.

Rudolfo A. Anaya (b. 1937)
Rudolfo Anaya was born in Pastura, New Mexico. His family moved to Albuquerque when he was fifteen. While working as a public school teacher, he earned degrees from the University of New Mexico. Anaya's first novel, Bless Me, Ultima (1972), is the story of a boy growing up in a small New Mexico village during... Go

Carlos Bulosan (1913-1956)
About 150,000 Filipinos immigrated to the United States between 1906 and 1946. Early on, many Filipinos came to America to seek an education and then return home. But starting in the 1920s, most came looking for work. Along the West Coast and in Hawaii and Alaska, they sought jobs as migrant... Go

Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962)
Robinson Jeffers was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His father was a minister and professor of Old Testament literature. When he was young, Jeffers traveled extensively in Europe, where he received his early education. In the United States, he attended Occidental College, the University of Southern California, and the University of Washington. An inheritance allowed Jeffers to devote himself to the writing of... Go

Alberto Ríos (b. 1952)
The son of a Mexican American father and a British mother, Alberto Ríos was born in Nogales, Arizona, on the Mexican border. Much of his work draws on the mixture of his parents' cultures and growing up in the American Southwest. He received his B.A. from the University of Arizona and earned an M.F.A. in creative writing in 1979. Ríos's collections of poetry... Go

Tomas Rivera (1935-1984)
Tomas Rivera was born in Crystal City, Texas. During his childhood, he accompanied his parents, who worked as farm laborers, on their journeys in the Midwest, from Missouri to Michigan to Minnesota. Rivera worked as a migrant farm laborer himself in the 1950s. He graduated from Southwest Texas State University with a degree in English and earned his Ph.D. in romance... Go

Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980)
Muriel Rukeyser was a political poet whose verse is noted for its intricate style and sophistication. She was born in New York City and attended Vassar College and Columbia University. Though from a wealthy family, Rukeyser was deeply concerned with the plight of laborers, the downtrodden, and the disadvantaged. She was shocked by the working conditions and meager... Go

Upton Sinclair (1878-1968)
Upton Sinclair was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and is best known for his 1906 muckraking novel, The Jungle. He received a degree from the College of the City of New York and did graduate work at Columbia University. Early on, he supported himself as a journalist and a writer. His serials for boys' weekly magazines, the Cliff Faraday stories and the Mark Mallory stories, were particularly lucrative. Sinclair's later writing emphasized... Go

John Steinbeck (1902-1968)
John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Grapes of Wrath, published in 1939, depicts the plight of the Joads, a family of Oklahoma sharecropper farmers who were driven off the land they worked by the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. The story of their journey to California to find work as agricultural laborers, a journey that they made along the often bleak Highway 66, helped secure Steinbeck's place in... Go

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
Best known as one of the first proponents of American Transcendentalism, Henry David Thoreau was also one of the first American naturalists and eco-literature writers. He was the third child of John Thoreau and Cynthia Dunbar and spent most of his life in and around Concord, Massachusetts. His father operated a pencil manufacturing business in the area. Thoreau attended Concord Academy and graduated from... Go

Helena Maria Viramontes (b. 1954)
Viramontes is a Chicana writer who was born in East Los Angeles, California. She attended Immaculate Heart College and the University of California, Irvine. She is co-founder of the Southern California Latino Writers and Film Makers group and teaches at Cornell University. Her first published book of short stories, "The Moth" and Other Stories (1985), focuses on... Go


Suggested Author Pairings Go



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