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Susan Bergholz Literary Services
17 West 10th Street, #5
New York, NY 10011

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Friends, please know I am not available to answer queries regarding school projects or papers on deadlines, since I too am on my own writing deadline.


For business inquiries, or to arrange an author appearance, please contact my agent Susan Bergholz at susan@susanbergholz.com

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Select Messages

 

Cecy Piemonte
Fayetteville, NC

May 31, 2017

I read one of your short stories for a high school assignment and was thrown off by the use of Spanish in English writing. Raised by a Mexican mother who believes in never mixing the languages, I found myself loving your writing. Taking my English teacher's recommendation, I wrote a report The House on Mango Street for my senior year "thesis" in 2010. Since then, I have not met a single reader to whom I haven't recommended your books. Your writing is true art; true inspiration to me. Currently listening to Caramelo and loving it!! Thank you for sharing your work with the world!!

Sandra replies:

Hey, Cecy,

Thanks.  I am especially proud of CARAMELO, my personal favorite.  So happy to hear from you.

S

 

Fae Ung
Las Vegas, NV

May 30, 2017

I have a question regarding to The House on Mango Street, is it a true story? Or is it just made to look like it.

Sandra replies:

Hi, Fae,

Take a look at the two introductions I wrote for HOUSE in my most recent book A HOUSE OF MY OWN, or in the current edition of the book.  It’s all there for you! 

S

 

Dylan Emerick-Brown
Lake Mary, Florida

May 30, 2017

Dear Ms. Cisneros,

My name is Dylan Emerick-Brown and I teach English at Deltona High School in Deltona, Florida. It has a large Hispanic population and I've taught some of your work, which the students devour. I am also the faculty adviser for the school's student-run literary magazine, Howl (DeltonaHowl.com). I am reaching out to you because it would mean the world to my students if they could send you just a few questions for their literary magazine as a brief interview. Would this be possible? Thank you so much for your time. We greatly appreciate it.

Kindest Regards,
Dylan Emerick-Brown

Sandra replies:

Dear Dylan,

Sure.  But only three questions.  Write to me care of my agent: susan@susanbergholz.com

Good luck!
S

 

Carola Bensimon
Managua, Nicaragua

May 29, 2017

Dear Sandra,

My name is Carola Bensimon and I was one of the teachers who attended your talk at Centro Cultural Nicaraguense in Managua, Nicaragua.
After my students listened to you, I assigned them to write an essay about their insights. Many of them are really inspiring. I was wondering if you would like to read them. I don't think I have enough space here. I don't want to invade your privacy asking your email, but if you are interested, maybe I can send a couple of these short essays to you.
One of them wrote that after listening to you, she knows she has a future and would like to fight for it.
We were honored to have met you, and I can assure you that these kids will never forget the experience.
Thank you Sandra!!!

Kind regards,
Carola Bensimon (English Teacher at Lincoln International Academy)

Sandra replies:

Hi, Carola,

I would love to see their essays. Meeting your students was a great highlight of my trip.  How respectful and charming they all were. They made me feel like a rock star.

 Please send your letter to me care of my agent: Susan Bergholz Literary Services, 17 W. 10th St, NY NY 10011, or you may scan and send to susan@susanbergholz.com    Will that work?  I think your students are great.

 Thank YOU, Carola, and thank your students. 

S

 

Maricela Anacleto
Riverside CA

May 29, 2017

Hello my name is Maricela and I am currently a Junior in High School and I am doing a Poet Research Paper and I chose to write about you since your work interests me more. I just wanted to do something new and try to contact you and ask you what advice do you have for upcoming poets? And I was also wondering What motivated you to write about your life?

Sandra replies:

Hi, Maricela,

I probably am answering this too late for your project, but I have been on the road.  My advice for poets is the same as for any other vocation:

1.      Earn your own money. To do this, go to school.

2.     Control your fertility so you can realize your dreams.  You can have kids later when you finish school; when you are better able to support them.

3.     It’s okay to be alone.  This is time for you to develop yourself.

 As to what motivated to write about my life?  I write about my life and the lives of those who impress me in some way, emotionally usually.  My subjects pick me. 

S

 

Deanne Szumowski
Cloquet,MN

May 29, 2017

I have avoided books of short stories, preferring novels, which I thought The House on Mango Street was. When I got it on my Nook, I decided to give it a try. I loved it. Each story made me feel like I was there living with the characters, experiencing their lives. You are a talented writer. Thank you for opening up to me the world of the short story.

Sandra replies:

Dear Deanne,

Glad you changed your mind about short stories.  There are so many great short-story writers out there.  Thanks for writing. 

SC

 

Lisette Rivas
Glendale, CA

May 25, 2017

So grateful to have found your writings when I was an undergraduate in college. I finally found a voice like my own, in "The House on Mango Street". As time went on, my esoteric interests took a back seat to raise a family and establish a career. Now that my son is older, I found myself going back to my love of reading. I was so happy to see your new book, "A House of My Own." Little did I know that I would again find my voice in your writings, as I grieve the loss of my best friend. By sharing your experiences, your writtings have provided comfort and solace at this difficult time in my life. (No one told me this would happen!) You are a writer for the masses. Thank you for sharing your passions, joy, sorrow, and spirit.

Con mucho cariño,
Lisette

Sandra replies:

Gracias, Lisette, for all your kind words!   

SC

 

Ana Rosales
San Marcos, Carazo
Nicaragua

May 22, 2017

It has been a great honor for me to know a little bit more about you and your books and I want to tell you that i will never forget how amazing you are. You are awesome. Thanks for the book you gave me, i am really grateful and i wish you success in your whole life.
PD: Please excuse my english.

Sandra replies:

Hi, Ana,

You’re welcome. And your English is just fine!  Thanks for writing. 

SC

 

Gary Gupton
Leland, NC

May 22, 2017

I ordered "Have you seen Marie" a couple of weeks ago through Amazon hoping to receive and share it with my wife, Kris, and her orphan girlfriends who had lost their mothers. The book arrived at our home in Leland, North Carolina, while we were vacationing in Puerto Rico. The day before we were to return home - a lady named Karen had been house/dog sitting for us - our toy poodle Jack died unexpectedly. Karen tried to save Jack, taking him to the emergency vet clinic, but they could not save him. Your book was in our mailbox upon our return. Thanks for sharing and comforting. Kris' mom passed away in 2008, and she "inherited" Jack. He was a constant reminder and all Kris had left of Joan, her mother. Kris wants to spread the ashes of Jack, her mother Joan, and my dog Spud in the Atlantic ocean off Wrightsville Beach, NC. (Spud died the same year as Kris' mom.). Thank you and God for the fortuitous arrival of "Marie".

Sincerely,
Gary Neil Gupton

Sandra replies:

Dear Gary,

First, I want to say how sorry I am for your losses.  I lost my mother in 2007, but always think of her.

And, as an animal lover and dog rescuer, I understand how much you are grieving. I just had to put one of my own dogs down a few weeks ago.

My intention writing the Marie book was to aid others in times of mourning.  Thank you for writing and confirming my book is doing its job.  You have lifted my heart with your letter.

Bendiciones y luz,
Sandra

P.S.  Try writing something for the ceremony at sea.  Anything written on behalf of those we love,  with love, siempre sale bonito--it always  turns out beautiful.

 

Elle Miza
Los Angeles, CA

May 22, 2017

Dear Sandra,
Thank you for your writing. You were the first author that truly inspired me in my early child development. I didn't have a lot of people who did that. I'm 24 now. Your words have kept me sane. You've probably kept a whole generation sane, really.

Best,
Elle

Sandra replies:

Dear Elle,

Well, I’m sure I would not be sane myself if I hadn’t been a writer.  Writing is the best medicine. 

Thanks for encouragement! 

SC

 

Ezra Gibson
Anchorage, AK

May 19, 2017

Dear Ms. Cisneros,
I am an 8th grade Language Arts Teacher at Goldenview Middle School in Anchorage, Alaska. My students read your book, The House on Mango Street and were inspired to write their own vignettes. We put them together and published a book of our own. We would be honored if we could send you a copy. I would be happy to ship you one if you would like. You may email me a forwarding address.

Sandra replies:

Hi, Ezra Gibson,

Send your book to me care of my agent, Susan Bergholz Literary Services, 17 W. 10th St. #5, New York, NY 10011.  It will reach me.  Thanks so much for doing so.

SC

 

Jordan Bennett
La Feria, TX

May 19, 2017

Hello, I am reading your book The House on Mango Street at my school. I enjoy it so far, but I have a question. In the chapter Born Bad, I feel that it's implied that Aunt Lupe dies the day Esperanza and her friends were making fun of her. That would be why they feel so apalled at their actions and try to repent by praying. Did Aunt Lupe die on this day, or later on?

Sincerely,
Jordan Bennett

Sandra replies:

Hi, Jordan,

You are correct in interpreting the story the way I meant it.  It’s why the girls feel so guilty, as if they were responsible for her death. And then they are haunted by bad dreams.  Good work!

 SC

 

David Rynerson
Belfast

May 19, 2017

Hi Sandra,

I have such fond memories of your visit to our classrooms at ASIJ in Tokyo. I'm now at Colegio Roosevelt, the American School of Lima, Peru, and I'm excited to be finishing the year with "The House on Mango Street." It is truly one of those books that reveal truths with every revisit and re-read. This unit comes after a poetry unit in which my grade 9 students discovered so much that they had in them. Anyway, I can shed a little light on this unit by telling my students what a nice person you are. I especially remember you giving your earrings to one of my students on your last classroom session.

Gracias!
David Rynerson

Sandra replies:

Hey, David,

How lovely to hear from you.  Yes, I did give my earrings away, didn’t I?  But that’s very Mexican.  We like to give things to others. It’s not just me.

I am so happy to hear you are sharing my stories in Peru now.  Felicidades.  I’m thrilled to hear my stories are working for you and your students. 

All my best to you and your class and to your new adventures in Peru.  And thanks for telling your class I am nice.  Much appreciated.

abrazos,
SC

 

Olivia Allen
Green Bay, WI

May 12, 2017

Dear Sandra,

Hi! My name is Olivia and I am a student at a high school in Green Bay, Wisconsin. I just wanted to let you know that your work has inspired us! Our Spanish class is being assigned certain people/places/events involved in Spanish culture to make a presentation on for our final exam, and I was assigned you! I look forward to researching and learning more about your life and work, and was wondering if you could give any advice to students who have an interest in writing or, which aspect of Spanish culture inspires you most?

Thank you and best wishes,
Olivia Allen

Sandra replies:

Hi, Olivia,

This letter may arrive too late for your purposes.  Advice for writing:  1.  Earn your own money.  2.  Control your fertility.  3.  Learn to be alone. 

As to which aspect of Spanish culture inspires me?  I like flamenco music, tapas,, Concha Buika, and Almodovar movies.  But you must know, I am not Spanish.  I SPEAK Spanish.  I am Mexican and from the U.S. (double citizenship), with some DNA from Spain in my lineage.  However, I identify as a dual citizen of Mexico and the United States, as well as a citizen of the Americas, north and south.

Thanks. 
SC

 

Telly Pandel
Baltimore, MD

May 12, 2017

My students just finished reading "The First Job," and now they're all asking if you've ever considered a film or television adaptation for The House on Mango Street. While the novel may not have a "front to back" story arc like most films, they suggested they'd be really excited to see it in short clips or a Netflix mini-series or something.

This is my favorite book that I teach all year. Thank you for all that you do.

Sandra replies:

Well, Telly, I am not averse to that idea at all, but the right producer, script, and funds must appear.  All in good time, I believe. I have great faith it will come together to my satisfaction in my lifetime.

Thanks,  
S

 

Mary Ellen McClure
Allen, TX

May 10, 2017

Thank you for the interview with Karen Thomas in the Dallas Morning News. I am a senior citizen whom you have truly inspired to start writing again. Was unable to attend your discussion but will purchase your book.

Sandra replies:

Thank you, Mary Ellen McClure.  My favorite writers wrote their best work after 50 years of age.  Jean Rhyss, Merce Rodoreda, Diana Athill, Harriett Doerr, Elena Poniatowska, to name a few. 

SC

 

Marta Alfaro
McKinney, TX

May 10, 2017

Sandra,

I saw you speak in Dallas this week and was so entertained by the author and the writer! I love how you own your stories as living, breathing stray lambs that need to be gathered. (Of course, from A House of My Own) What is special to me is, you being one of my favorite authors, has a common thread of another of my favorites, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. His book, Strange Pilgrims, born from a lost book of ideas that had "become a question of honor" to reconstruct. I love that!

Thank you for sharing your gifts!!

Sandra replies:

Gracias mil, Marta Alfaro!  I am keeping illustrious company with Garcia Márquez!

SC

 

Francesca Kritikos
Chicago, IL

May 9, 2017

Dear Sandra,

I have memories of reading The House on Mango Street and Woman Hollering Creek when I was around nine years old, and out of all the books I've ever read (which as a literature and creative writing major is a lot), those two have stuck with me the most. Your writing has had such a deep impact on me as a woman, and evokes the same amount of raw emotion in me when I read it today as when I was a kid.

I happened to see Woman Hollering Creek in the library at my university a few months ago and ended up reading it in one sitting. I bought Loose Woman and wrote an essay on "You Bring Out the Mexican in Me," one of the most beautiful poems I've ever read. I'm a poet myself, and I find your writing endlessly inspiring and always fresh.

Thank you so much for your contribution to our earth.

Best wishes,
Francesca

Sandra replies:

Gracias, Francesca.  I’m thrilled my writing resonates with you. 

SC

 

Rebeca Illescas
Irving, TX

May 9, 2017

Last night I had the luxury of listening to you at the DMA in Dallas for the second time in my life; the first time was about ten years ago at the Irving, TX theater. I have been in love with "The house on Mango Street" for about twenty years; I taught it to my ESL students in California, I know teach it in my Pre-AP Spanish classes. Three days ago I started reading "A house of my own" and I admire you even more. I am a reader, I read about three to four books a month, mostly historical fiction and novels in English and in Spanish. However, I have never read a book that I can agree and relate to more. I love that your writing reads like a simple conversation with a friend and yet is full of messages, truth, some that hurt but needs to be told but also full of love. I love how you include family in almost all your writings, how you make fun of them and yet we can feel the love. I love when you say that the writings are not about you but they are and yet they are all about me.

Thank you!!!
Rebeca

Sandra replies:

Aww, thanks, Rebeca!  Lovely to get this confirmation. 

SC

 

Elida Branham
Plano, TX

May 8, 2017

Sandra, gracias for a wonderful, inspiring, funny and amazing evening. The DMA event was awesome! I am hoping that you are able to publish the new poems you read tonight. I loved both!

Sandra replies:

Thanks,  Elida!  The two poems I read are “God Breaks the Heart Again and Again Until It Stays Open,” which appeared in a slightly different form in Huizache, a magazine from UT-Victoria.  Look it up.  The other is new, “El Hombre,” and will appear in the fall issue of Huizache.  They will both be reprinted someday in my next volume of poetry. 

Thanks for ánimo. 
SC

 

Linda Samaritoni
Avon, Indiana

May 8, 2017

I read with interest your response to the middle school class from Alaska. The semantics in using specific terms for the Latino culture has always confused me, so your answer was helpful.

Fifty years ago, I lived in California for a very short time, and was introduced to the words, "chicano/chicana."

Watching the prejudice acted out in this new school, and coming from a different culture in New York, the terms seemed derogatory to me when used by the white kids. I was afraid to ask any Mexican-American students for clarification, for the groups kept themselves isolated from one another.

I am interested in your opinion as to whether my perceptions were correct or not. I am now sixty-two years old, and I'm still not sure of the answer!

Sandra replies:

Dear Linda,

I am sixty-two also, and like you unsure about more than what I’m sure of.  When in doubt, ask.  I recommend you ask the Chicano students themselves why they call themselves why they do.  When they are that young and haven’t had their history taught to them, they most probably won’t know the history behind that word, but maybe they do.  I encourage you to ask with respect and you will learn more than what I at my age can tell you about their generation.  Adelante.

Sandra

 

Matt Arnold
Durham, NC

May 8, 2017

Hi Sandra,

I wrote to you last weekend, and had 2 questions about teaching The House on Mango Street. Tomorrow I'm going to be teaching my "demo lesson" to the students at the school I'd like to teach at - I was wondering if you'd be able to answer them.
(it's a little thing, but I know the students would really be blown away).

I only have 45 minutes with them, and so I'm making a lesson that looks at how you use different writing techniques to capture different moods; HOW the words lend such power to WHAT you say. I always concentrate on bringing out the writer in my kids, and your book is a great way to study that concept.

At any rate, hank you so much for considering!
Matt

 

Sandra replies:

Hijole, Matt!  So sorry I am late answering, but I whirl about like a dandelion seed as the Author.  I’ve answered your letter below.  Thanks.

SC

 

Matt Arnold
Durham, NC

April 30, 2017

Hello Ms. Cisneros,

So, I'm a teacher, about to read The House on Mango Street with 9th graders.... I remember loving your book back when I read it in high school in the late 90's, and the fact that I'm teaching it now, after many years have passed, has me wondering:

-Is there a message that you would like students today to get from your book that you perhaps hadn't anticipated when you wrote it?

-What do you hope students will do after they read your book?

I saw how generously you've answered questions on here, especially from teachers, so I figured I would ask!

Thanks always!
Matt

Sandra replies:

Hi, Matt,

Well, if you are a teacher you will completely understand the introduction to the book and why I wrote the book.  It’s all there for you, the why and for whom I wrote this and how when I was a teacher. 

I'd love for students to go back to the last chapter of The House on Mango Street. And, I hope they will feel more obliged to come back to their communities, their family, their town, and make it a better place to live. Especially now more than ever. 

Thanks for writing and for doing the work you do as an educator.

SC

 

Carolyn García
San Juan, TX

May 5, 2017

Never Marry a Mexican changed my life. It still makes me cry every time I read it. No one captures what it is to love as a morena like Sandra.

Sandra replies:

Gracias, Carolyn! 

SC

 

vivi gonzalez
chicago

may 3, 2017

i really related to house on mango street

Sandra replies:

Hey, thanks, Vivi!  Love your name. Even have a character with that name in the novel-in-progress.

SC

 

Samarra Reilly
Hollywood, FL

May 3, 2017

Hola ms cisneros! Usted es por mucho mi autor favorito de todos los tiempos! Verdaderamente cautivan la esencia de la autodefinición y los problemas que han surgido en este mundo de hoy. Su libro es mi libro favorito y he aprendido mucho sobre él. Tiene tanto que enseñar a los niños de hoy. Todos podemos aprender de usted como autor y como persona. El trabajo voluntario que haces es realmente inspirador y me anima todos los días a salir y ayudar. Tengo una pregunta sin embargo. ¿Por qué la calle se llama mango street? Usted probablemente no recibe esta pregunta mucho, pero me ha desconcertado desde la primera lectura hace tres años. También, la esperanza se refiere a alguien como "tú" sin citas. ¿A quién se dirige?¡Te amamos Sandra !!
Los aficionados de Florida

Sandra replies:

Hola, Samarra,

Esa pregunta siempre me lo preguntan.  Vea mi repuesta mas abajo.  Gracias por el amor! 

SC

 

Lacey Lewis
Austin, TX

May 3, 2017

Thank you for your visit in San Marcos this past weekend. Thank you for writing. Thank you for signing a copy of Mango for my mom for Mother's Day.

Just thank you.

Lacey

Sandra replies:

You are welcome! 

SC

 

Adam Childers
Ona, WV

May 1, 2017

I'm doing a small project about you in my 10th grade English class
I like your big flowers in the picture on this page.