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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I'm a Cisneros Fan!
Sandra Cisneros is one of my favorite authors, and A House of My Own is one of her best books. It’s a collection of essays that she wrote over many years, all with the theme of owning a house. Cisneros’ life has been as interesting as her books. This memoir, of sorts, chronicled her unique journey through relationships, houses and writing. (I think that she probably would have reversed the order of importance on that list.) I listened to the Audible version, which was read by Cisneros. This is one case where I would recommend listening to the audio version. Cisneros brings all of the Spanish names and quotes to life in a way that can’t be duplicated by reading alone. I’m sure it would be a good read, but it’s a great listen!
Rich stories, wonderful narration.