From the author of The House on Mango Street, a compilation of true stories and nonfiction pieces that, taken together, form a jigsaw autobiography - an intimate album of a beloved literary legend.
From the Chicago neighborhoods where she grew up and set her groundbreaking The House on Mango Street to her abode in Mexico in a region where "my ancestors lived for centuries", the places Sandra Cisneros has lived have provided inspiration for her now-classic works of fiction and poetry. But a house of her own, where she could truly take root, has eluded her. With this collection - spanning three decades and including never-before-published work - Cisneros has come home at last.
Ranging from the private (her parents' loving and tempestuous marriage) to the political (a rallying cry for one woman's liberty in Sarajevo) to the literary (a tribute to Marguerite Duras), and written with her trademark lyricism, these signature pieces recall transformative memories as well as reveal her defining artistic and intellectual influences. Poignant, honest, and deeply moving, this is an exuberant celebration of a life in writing lived to the fullest.
"The author of The House on Mango Street has written what may well be the best memoir of the year thus far. She seamlessly weaves 'memories' from her life from 1984-2014 (some written for specific audiences and expanded in this volume). As in her fiction and poetry, Cisneros blends family stories from Chicago and Mexico with lively storytelling, rich details, and good humor. The result is a fierce portrait of an artist and her quest, and the roads taken and not taken to find a home of her own. All readers who are interested in creative writing, memoir, American literature, and Chicana literature will appreciate this memoir, [which] deserves to find the broad and wide readership of her earlier books." (Pam Kinsburgy, Library Journal)
"An extraordinary and magical journey. Sandra Cisneros makes me so happy that I am a reader, so joyful that she is a writer, and even more exhilarated that she is part of our world. Read this book and laugh, cry and rejoice!" (Edwidge Danticat)
"Charming, tender: a warm, gently told memoir, assembled from essays, talks, tributes to artists and writers, and poems.... Cisneros chronicles the creation of [The House on Mango Street], begun in graduate school at the University of Iowa when she was 22, and completed on the Greek island of Hydra in a whitewashed house with 'thick walls and rounded corners, as if carved from feta cheese.' Homes feature in many pieces: the apartments her family moved into, always looking for cheaper rent; the house they finally bought, where the author had a closet-sized bedroom; her house in San Antonio that she painted purple, raising objections from the city's Historic Commission. Besides reflecting on her writing, Cisneros discloses a period of severe depression when she was 33; a tantalizing family secret; and eulogies for her parents. The making of a Latina writer." (Kirkus)
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Sandra Cisneros is a lovely and relatable voice. The book is a collection of introductions, commissioned pieces, and essays written by Sandra Cisneros over the years. There are a few introductions to various editions of House on Mango Street, introductions to other authors' work (so be prepared to read some other books as a result of this one like Time of the Doves and Open Veins of Latin America), essays about art that is difficult to find on the internet, and music. My favorite thing about this book is the vulnerable honesty that Sandra Cisneros shares. She admits to feeling not entitled to be a writer and artist. She admits to relationship trouble. She admits to writer's block and the difficulty of art and inspiration. She admits to financial trouble. I think most people can relate to her struggles - especially people suffering from impostor syndrome. The book is read by the author, which I usually enjoy, but it does take some getting used to. Her voice is a little bit high, so listen to the sample to see if you will like it.
- Christina Cavaleri
Sandra Cisneros gives us a glimpse into her life
I love Sandra Cisneros, and though this book is not a work of fiction, Sandra narrates the story of her life, and brings us up from her childhood through her education as a young poet and write, into her current life. Insightful, and engaging.
I love hearing about her childhood
No characters, just her
A must read for those who are students of Ethnic Studies, or Women's Studies