"On Episode 17, Pete discusses 'Incredible Endings and Mother-Child Relationships,' as seen in writing by Pat Mora and Helena María Viramontes.
"Mora's poem,'Elena' has been a favorite of Pete's in his high school classroom for years. The poem, about an immigrant mother and her isolation as her kids learn the English language that eludes her, is alternately beautiful and sad and resonant.
"Viramontes, with 'The Moths,' crafts a short but incredibly powerful story about a misfit girl who looks for her place as a woman, a sister, a daughter, and a granddaughter. In the process, she gains an incredible insight into transformation and rebirth."
Listen to the full episode here.
Helena María Viramontes is the author of The Moths and Other Stories and two novels, Under the Feet of Jesus and Their Dogs Came With Them. She has also co-edited two collections with Maria Herrera Sobek: Chicana (W)rites: On Word and Film and Chicana Creativity and Criticism. A recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the John Dos Passos Award for Literature, and a United States Artist Fellowship, her short stories and essays have been widely anthologized and her writings have been adopted for classroom use and university study. Her work is the subject of a critical reader titled Rebozos De Palabras edited by Gabrielle Gutierrez y Muhs and published by the University of Arizona Press. A community organizer and former coordinator of the Los Angeles Latino Writers Association, she is a frequent reader and lecturer in the U.S. and internationally. Currently she is completing a draft of her third novel, The Cemetery Boys.