A House of My Own: Stories from My Life (2015)
By Sandra Cisneros
e-book, 400 pages
From the Chicago neighborhoods where she grew up and set her groundbreaking The House on Mango Street to her abode in Mexico where “my ancestors have 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 of true stories and nonfiction pieces—spanning three decades, and including never-before-published work and an intimate album of personal photos—Cisneros has come home at last.
"Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street and Caramelo, has here written what may well be the best memoir of the year thus far. She seamlessly weaves 'memories' from her life from 1984 through 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. Verdict: This memoir deserves to find the broad and wide readership of Cisneros' earlier books." — Library Journal starred review
"With this collection — spanning nearly 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 sensitivity and honesty, these poignant, unforgettable pieces give us not only her most transformative memories but also a revelation of her artistic and intellectual influences... A charming, tender memoir from an acclaimed Mexican-American author." — Kirkus Reviews
"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
Have You Seen Marie?
The internationally acclaimed author of The House on Mango Street gives us a deeply moving tale of loss, grief, and healing: a lyrically told, richly illustrated fable for grown-ups about a woman's search for a cat that goes missing in the wake of her mother's death.
The word "orphan" might not seem to apply to a fifty-three-year-old woman. Yet this is exactly how Sandra feels as she finds herself motherless, alone like "a glove left behind at the bus station." What just might save her is her search for someone else gone missing: Marie, the black-and-white cat of her friend, Roz, that ran off the day they arrived from Tacoma. As Sandra and Roz scour the streets of San Antonio, posting flyers and asking everywhere, "Have you seen Marie?" the pursuit of this one small creature takes on unexpected urgency and meaning. With full-color illustrations that bring this transformative quest to vivid life, Have You Seen Marie? showcases a beloved author's storytelling magic, in a tale that reminds us how love, even when it goes astray, does not stay lost forever.
Illustrated by Ester Hernández.
"Best-selling Cisneros chronicles a search for a runaway cat that turns into a way to work through grief and discover community... The deliberately informal, rough-edged illustrations give a nice sense of Cisneros' multicultural, bohemian neighborhood... This warmhearted tale offers comfort to anyone coping with the loss of a loved one." — Kirkus
In Rome, on a perfect sunny day, Bruno the poodle feels he must find something. But what? Published in Italy by La Nuova Frontiera.
In Italian, for readers age 6 to 106.
A winner of the PEN Center West Award for Best Fiction and the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, Sandra Cisneros evokes working-class Latino experience with an irresistible mix of realism and lyrical exuberance.
Vintage Cisneros features excerpts from her bestselling novel The House on Mango Street, which has become a favorite in school classrooms across the country. Also included are chapters from her novel, Caramelo; a generous selection of poems from My Wicked Wicked Ways and Loose Woman; and seven stories from her award-winning collection Woman Hollering Creek.
"Sandra Cisneros knows both that the heart can be broken and that it can rise and soar like a bird. Whatever story she chooses to tell, we should be listening for a long time to come." — The Washington Post Book World
Told in language of blazing originality, Caramelo is a multi-generational story of a Mexican-American family whose voices create a dazzling weave of humor, passion, and poignancy—the very stuff of life.
Every year, Celaya "Lala" Reyes' family -- aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, and Lala's six older brothers--packs up three cars and, in a wild ride, drive from Chicago to the Little Grandfather and Awful Grandmother's house in Mexico City for the summer. Struggling to find a voice above the boom of her brothers and to understand her place on this side of the border and that, Lala is a shrewd observer of family life. But when she starts telling the Awful Grandmother's life story, seeking clues to how she got to be so awful, grandmother accuses Lala of exaggerating. Soon, a multi-generational family narrative turns into a whirlwind exploration of storytelling, lies, and life. Like the cherished rebozo, or shawl, that has been passed down through generations of Reyes women, Caramelo is alive with the vibrations of history, family, and love.
Caramelo is a romantic tale of homelands, sometimes real, sometimes imagined. Vivid, funny, intimate, historical, it is a brilliant work destined to become a classic: a major novel from one of our country's most beloved storytellers.
"Caramelo is a crazy, funny, and remarkable folk-saga of Mexican migrants told by a curious little girl who has the wisdom of an old grandma. Beginning on Highway 66, it's a salsified variant of the Joad family's odyssey, zigzagging from Chicago to Mexico City and back. It's all about la vida, the life of 'honorable labor.' It's a beautiful tale of all migrants caught between here and there.." — Studs Terkel, author of Will the Circle Be Unbroken?
"Writers tell secrets, and in so doing, reaffirm the truths of our lives, the strength of love, the marvel of endurance, and the power of generations. In Caramelo, Sandra Cisneros sings to my blood. Her wors are sweet and filling, not sugar-driven but as substantial as meat on the bone. Hers is the kind of family I know well—people who love and hate with their whole souls, who struggle and make over with every generation. She has done them justice on the page; she has given them to us whole.." — Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolina
"This book is a crowded train, a never-stop round-trip train going and coming back and going again between Mexico and the U.S.A., across the frontiers of land and time: full of voices, full of music, made from memory, making life." — Eduardo Galeano, author of Memory of Fire
"Sandra Cisneros is like a bee that extracts new honey from old flowers. And Caramelo is like a Mexican candy that you suck slowly, savoring it under your tongue for hours; yet it is never sticky, never sugary nor sentimental. Cisneros posesses that most difficult ability—to allow us to imagine that which never existed. — Elena Poniatowska, author of Here's to You, Jesusa!
"Like Eduardo Galeano, John Dos Passos and John Steinbeck, Cisneros writes along the borders where the novel and social history intersect. In this lovingly told and poetic novel, she uses the storytelling art to give the voiceless ones a voice, and to find the border to the past, imbuing the struggles of her family and her countries with the richness of myth." — Los Angeles Times
"Cisneros is a writer for all people. This is a novel of families, home life and finding yourself in the world's greater landscape." — USA Today
Hairs / Pelitos
This jewel-like vignette from Sandra Cisneros's best-selling The House on Mango Street shows, through simple, intimate portraits, the diversity among us.
Illustrated by Terry Ybanez.
"Everybody in our family has different hair"/ "Todos en nuestra familia tenemos pelo diferente," begins this rhythmic, bilingual picture book taken from acclaimed novelist/short-story writer Cisneros's The House on Mango Street. Ybanez expands upon the diversity theme by rendering the family members in a variety of unusual skin tones as well as with distinctive hairstyles. Purple-faced Papa has hair "like a broom,/ all up in the air," while Nettie's "slippery" orange hair contrasts vividly with her blue skin. The narrator waxes lyrical on the subject of Mama's hair: "sweet to put your nose into when she is holding you, holding you and you feel safe, [it] is the warm smell of bread before you bake it." Each spread is framed by bright borders ornamented with everyday objects-shoes and bikes; steaming cups of coffee; dice, jacks and jumpropes. Inside, the characters seem to float across swirling blocks of color. A spirited and buoyant celebration of individuality and of the bonds within families. Ages 4-8. — Publishers Weekly
A candid, sexy and wonderfully mood-strewn collection of poetry that celebrates the female aspects of love, from the reflective to the overtly erotic.
"Poignant, sexy... lyrical, passionate... cool and delicate... hot as a chili pepper." — Boston Globe
Woman Hollering Creek
A collection of stories whose characters give voice to the vibrant and varied life on both sides of the Mexican border. The women in these stories offer tales of pure discovery, filled with moments of infinite and intimate wisdom.
“Sandra Cisneros knows both that the heart can be broken and that it can rise and soar like a bird. Whatever story she chooses to tell we should be listening for a long time to come.” — Washington Post Book World
A little girl revealing secrets as only a child can; a witch flies at dawn over a small town -- these are just two of the scenarios presented by Cisneros in this collection of short stories. A writer of vivid imagination, with a very acute sense of mysticism and a witty poetic style, Cisneros not only entertains but leaves a lasting impression. A key work from a major Hispanic American writer; recommended for public libraries. — Library Journal
My Wicked Wicked Ways
Hailed as "not only a gifted writer, but an absolutely essential one" by The New York Times Book Review, Sandra Cisneros has firmly established herself as an author of electrifying talent. Here are verses, comic and sad, radiantly pure and plainspoken, that reveal why her stories have been praised for their precision and musicality of language.
"Sandra Cisneros is one of the most brilliant of today's young writers. Her work is sensitive, alert, nuanceful . . . rich with music and picture." — Gwendolyn Books
This collection reveals the same affinity for distilled phrasing and surprise, both in language and dramatic development, found in Cisneros's volumes of short stories, Woman Hollering Creek and The House on Mango Street. — Publishers Weekly
The House on Mango Street
Told in a series of vignettes stunning for their eloquence, The House on Mango Street is Sandra Cisneros's greatly admired novel of a young girl growing up in the Latino section of Chicago. Acclaimed by critics, beloved by children, their parents and grandparents, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, it has entered the canon of coming-of-age classics.
Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous, The House on Mango Street tells the story of Esperanza Cordero, whose neighborhood is one of harsh realities and harsh beauty. Esperanza doesn't want to belong -- not to her rundown neighborhood, and not to the low expectations the world has for her. Esperanza's story is that of a young girl coming into her power, and inventing for herself what she will become.
"Cisneros draws on her rich [Latino] heritage . . . and seduces with precise, spare prose, creat[ing] unforgettable characters we want to lift off the page. She is not only a gifted writer, but an absolutely essential one." — The New York Times Book Review
"Marvelous... spare yet luminous. The subtle power of Cisneros's storytelling is evident. She communicates all the rapture and rage of growing up in a modern world." — San Francisco Chronicle
"A deeply moving novel... delightful and poignant.... Like the best of poetry, it opens the windows of the heart without a wasted word." — Miami Herald
"Sandra Cisneros's 1980 chapbook Bad Boys (Mango Chicano Chapbook Series #8), for many readers, was their introduction to the great writer. Mango Publications was also in its infancy, being founded by Lorna Dee Cervantes, either one or two years before, publishing their first chapbook Speedway by Orlando Ramirez in 1979. Bad Boys is small, even for chapbooks, containing seven poems. Cisneros was no newcomer though. She had been published in many journals before the publication of Bad Boys, which in some ways became her forgotten child." — Raymundo Eli Rojas, Pluma Fronteriza blog