An Evening with Cherríe Moraga

Doors open at 5 p.m. Reading begins at 5:30 p.m.

This event last occurred April 10, 2019

Reading and Book Signing

Join us for an evening with Chicana writer, feminist activist, poet, essayist, and playwright Cherríe Moraga as she launches her memoir, "Native Country of the Heart." All are welcome; refreshments will be served. Doors will open at 5 p.m. and the reading will begin at 5:30 p.m.

About Moraga's book

Cover of Native Country of the Heart by Cherrie Moraga

"Native Country of the Heart" is Moraga’s love letter to her “unlettered” mother. It is also an intimate understanding of the U.S.-Mexican diaspora by the celebrated coeditor of the groundbreaking anthology "This Bridge Called My Back."

Moraga’s memoir begins with her mother, Elvira Isabel Moraga, who as a child, along with her siblings, was hired out by her own father to pick cotton in California’s Imperial Valley. The lives of Cherríe and her mother, and of their people, are woven together in a story of critical reflection and deep personal revelation as Moraga charts her own coming to consciousness alongside the heartbreaking story of her mother’s decline.

As a young woman, Elvira left California to work as a cigarette girl in glamorous late-1920s Tijuana, where an ambiguous relationship with a wealthy white man taught her life lessons about power, sex, and opportunity. While Moraga reflects on her mother’s journey—from impressionable young girl to battle-tested matriarch to, later on, old woman suffering under the yoke of Alzheimer’s—she traces her own discovery of her 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 unearths shards of what it means to be Mexican in the United States, of her diaspora’s Indigenous origins, and of an American story of cultural loss.

After the talk, Moraga will be available to sign copies of her books, which will be for sale by Sun Devil Campus Stores at the event.

About the author

Cherríe Moraga is a writer and cultural activist whose work disrupts the dominant narratives of gender, race, sexuality, feminism, indigeneity, and literature in the United States. A cofounder of Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, Moraga coedited the influential volume "This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color" (1981). In 2017, after twenty years as an Artist-in-Residence in Theater at Stanford University, Moraga was appointed a professor in the Department of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where, with her artistic partner Celia Herrera Rodríguez, she founded Las Maestras Center for Xicana Indigenous Thought and Art Practice. She is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Theatre Playwriting Fellowship Award and a Rockefeller Fellowship for Literature.

Moraga's visit is sponsored by the humanities division of The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at ASU, with support from Department of English, the School of Social Transformation, the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, the School of International Letters and Cultures, and the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies.

Cherríe Moraga / Courtesy photo

Memorial Union Cochise Room, 228

For More Information Contact:

Lee Bebout
Department of English
Lee.Bebout@asu.edu