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San Antonio, Texas

January 15, 2009


My Friends,

It's 2009. How did it happen that the first decade is almost over without my realizing it even began? Did I get sideswiped by 9/11? Or maybe I was just reading the newspaper over coffee and a breakfast taco, and when I looked up, years had passed. Is it like that for you too?

Thank you for all your patience during 2008 when I was dealing with my mother's death. I needed to take some time for myself, and that is why I haven't been able to answer all my letters. I still am slow about getting things done, but I'm filled with a new joy mixed with old grief. It's possible to feel both at once, and I'm happy to be happy again and feel my mother with me even as I write this. Remarkable thing, even if we don't know if God exists, we can be certain love exists, because its power transcends death.

This year has the new 25th Anniversary edition of The House on Mango Street coming out in the spring, and with it a long season of traveling. (See my schedule of appearances to check if I will be coming to a town near you.) The anniversary edition has a new introduction I wrote about how I wrote the book. Should you want a sneak peek, there is an excerpt of this essay in the March issue of Oprah's magazine O. I am especially fond of my contributor's photo because I am featured with my dogs Paloma and Dante, and even though my brother Keeks says it doesn't look like me, I know this photo feels like me.

So here I am twenty-five years later, twenty-five pounds heavier than I was back then. It's true we grow like trees, rings widening out and out. I don't mind too much. My consciousness is wider too, and that is the best thing about being 54. Being wise instead of just being a wiseguy.

I wish you all wonderful moments today. Spend time, not money, doing those things that bring you absolute joy. The Date Fruit Elegies by John Olivares Espinoza and The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters by Lorraine Lopez are on my bedside, bringing me infinite pleasure. Levi Romero's remarkable A Poetry of Remembrance inspires me to write poetry, and the books of Thich Nhat Hanh continue to astonish and guide me.

I am so grateful for your kind letters. You remind me why I write, and for whom.

hasta soon,