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Susan Bergholz Literary Services
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 Photo by Nancy Traugott

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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 publishing queries (about my work and its uses in all languages and territories, including  translations), interviews, invitations, or to arrange an author appearance, please contact my agent Susan Bergholz at susan@susanbergholz.com

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Esly Sarmiento


Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico



My name is Esly Sarmiento, I am an English teacher in a small school near Puerto Vallarta. I am originally from Chicago first generation and recently moved to Mexico to give my family a better way of life. I am trying to get my students exposed to other ways of writing and reading. I read House on Mango Street when I was younger and wanted to expose my students to this book and this story. I was wondering if there was anyyy way we can get even a skype mini interview with Sandra. In Mexico we do not have a reading culture and I would love to get my students motivated by meeting someone who has written a book. We are in school until July 8 so if there was any way we can set this up it would be so amazing. I hope to hear back from you.



Sandra Replies:


Hi, Esly,

My skype connections in Mexico are so undependable, I’ve had to give them up altogether.  Too stressful.  The connection drops. 

Also, I try not to be available to anyone when I am writing, and I came here to Mexico to write.  It’s difficult to write anything worthwhile on the days I talk.
Will you allow me to write the books you enjoy?  You can look on my website and see a few videos where I appear.  Would that be of use to you? 

I wish I could do more, but for more than thirty years I have been available, and now I am in sanctuary trying to be quiet and work. 

Thank you for believing in my writing and taking it to those who need it.  Right now my books are out of print in Mexico, but we are working on getting them republished. 


Mil gracias,

Kyleigh Speier


Rapid City, South Dakota, USA



We're reading one of your most famous books, The House on Mango Street, and we're stuck on the discussion of which are your personal stories, which were your students, and which are fiction to create incite and cohesiveness in the story. We realize we can't have a play by play of what is occurring, but we would greatly appreciate some light to be shed on our situation. We really enjoy the book and talking about what is happening. Thank you for writing this notable piece of literature.

Concerned Students (Kyleigh, Hailey, Kenna, Sydney)



Sandra Replies: 



Hi, Concerned Students in Rapid City,

I cannot take every story apart, as there are many layers to each, but take a look at my last book A HOUSE OF MY OWN, for some insight on the matter.  Each story is a collage of many lives, not simply lifted from my own life.  That means, all the characters are me, and none of them are.  I use my own emotions to understand stories that I witnessed or were told to me.  Even if a story didn’t happen to me, I have to search in my heart for a similar feeling to write from a true place.  I hope this makes it clear how one writes.  It’s all created from real parts stitched together to make a “Frankenstein” from many lives.


Thanks for asking.

John Balding


Boston, MA USA


Found your poem, By Way of Explanation, on the Knoph Poerty site. I am a songwriter. I liked the idea of using geography to define a person. I can see from some of your pictures, particularly the one on the cover of A House of My Own that you have many "looks" You have mostly likely been asked where you are from many times, as you can appear to be from the middle east, northern Africa, Italy, and Spain. My first guess would have been Lebanon. I now know of your Mexican-American connection and that too is one of the many looks you have. BTW, San Miguel de Allende is a lovely place. I am sure you enjoy living there for now.

I will try to take your poem written from a female perspective and change it to a male perspective, echoing similar geographic references to define the "woman" which is the subject of the song. I will let you know how it comes out.



 Sandra Replies:


Hello, John,

I indeed come from many places, as my DNA has proven, but this poem was written decades before I did the bloodwork.  Thanks for writing.  Hope you write your own poem/song based on your own life.  Art should inspire us to create art, and if I have done so, then I will feel fulfilled. 


Jessica Santamaria


Orlando, FL


Hi Senora Cisneros,

After reading, and ultimately researching, your work, I felt the need to leave you a message of gratitude and appreciation. Your work is inspirational. It's refreshing to see a strong, bold and beautiful Latina author who writes on behalf of and for girls like me.

Thank you for all you have done and continue to do.

- Jessica Santamaria



Sandra Replies: 

May 2nd 2018

Dear Jessica,

Thank you for writing and letting me know the work I do is valuable.  So many writers never hear from their readers, and writing is lonely work.  I am lucky beyond words!  SC

Cheryl Vargas


La Grange, IL


This semester I am taking a Writing About Literature course that I dreaded having to take. To my amazement I got a professor who introduced me to the works of Langston Hughes, Carl Sandburg, Lorraine Hansberry and YOU.

Today, 2 weeks from graduating from Concordia University in Chicago at age 59, I can't imagine my life without having read your book. We grew up in the same area. I know Keeler, Paulina and Loomis. I know those bums on the corner and those nasty boys who ruined the romance of the fairytale and friends who went away.

I read your stories before I knew your name and I wondered, is this Ruthie Rios who used to live in the row houses in 1964-5? No, you aren't Ruthie, but I knew the brown shoes and the shoes from the people with little feet.

I just wanted to say thank you for helping to make this the best semester of my undergraduate years and for Esperanza's story that I have shared in these last few weeks with many friends.

I bid you peace and happiness and a big hug!


Sandra Replies:

May 2nd 2018

Dear Cheryl,

Congratulations to you for your upcoming degree at the age of 59!   Wow!  You are an inspiration.  Thank you for writing and for feeling at home on Mango Street.  I always hope my readers will feel it’s their neighborhood.  Your letter is a confirmation.  Again, felicidades!


Paloma Serrano


Chicago, IL

What is one word you hate so much that you will not let it be published in any of your books?



Sandra Replies:

May 2nd 2018

Dear Paloma,

None.  I don’t hate anything, but I have strong feelings about what I call myself.  S

Maritza Martinez


Donna, Texas

I just love your work. :)


Sandra Replies:

May 2nd 2018

Thank you, Maritza, for making my day!  SC

Paris Blando


Charlotte NC


Hello, my name is Paris Blando I am 15 Years old and I am in the 8th grade at community house middle school in Charlotte NC we are currently reading your book and I am enjoying it....... I know your culture and what you went through and I just want to say thank you for sharing that with me because I feel like I can relate to you

Sincerely, Paris Blando


Sandra Replies:

May, 2nd, 2018

Dear Paris Blando,

I know your culture too, and I just want to say thank you for writing to me today, because I feel like I can relate to YOU!

Best to you,


Michelle Rodríguez Montás


San Juan, Puerto Rico


Hi Sandra.

Right now, I am teaching a Basic Intensive English course at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus until 9:20 p.m. I am standing in front of my students getting them ready to read your work, "No Speak English." I have projected your website and we have read your biography. Today and next Tuesday, we will be reading works by you. Next week, we will enjoy "Geraldo No Last Name." I have a small group of students who are eager to learn Englsh. Jovan Rodríguez, Brenda Villegas, Sonia Neris, Elizabeth Cirilo, and Carolina Guillermo are my students. They are all here and they send you a hello and blessings. Please respond. Thank you. UPRRP INGL3162


Sandra Replies:

Thank you for this letter and saludos to Jovan, Brenda, Sonia, Elizabeth, Caro y la maestra/o.  Gracias por su linda carta. Espero que todos estan bien, y espero al fin que se han recuperado del huracán por favor.  My heart goes out to Puerto Rico.  Que viva Boricua.  ¡Abrazos fuertes a todos mis lectores en Puerto Rico!  Sandra Cisneros

Carmen Whitehead


North Carolina


Dear Ms Cisneros,
My name is Carmen. I live in North Carolina. I'm a 10th grader
and I'm an English Learner student.

I really liked the story "Eleven" because even though I'm fifteen years old
sometimes I feel like a three year old child. For example, when I want to
talk or ask a question to a teacher I don't do it because I'm afraid that they
won't understand what I'm saying because of my English skills and that's
when I want to be older so that I could know what to say without being
afraid of talking to others.

I think I relate to this story because sometimes when I'm frustrated or I
don't know what to do anymore all I want to do is cry like a baby.


Carmen Whitehead


Sandra Replies:

Oh, Carmen, me too.  I am sixty-three, but sometimes still feel like I’m three.  It never goes away that feeling no matter how old you are.  Thank you for sharing this with me.  I  hope you realize that everyone feels this way, and this will make you feel less alone and realize, hey, I’m only human.  Then be kind to the three year-old inside yourself.  Forgive and be patient with you.  You are still three underneath the you you are today.  SC

Sohary Andino


Wilmington, NC


Dear Ms. Cisneros

My name is Sohary Andino. I am a student at Ashley High School, in North Carolina. I am a 17 year old girl and I am an English learner.
I enjoyed reading yor story "Eleven" and I think it should be read by everybody. Mandy people might feel the same way like Rachel was feeling.
I have felt the same way. I have desired my mind could talk when I wanted to say something and this desire comes where I am, all over the places, wherever I go, especially in the high school where I am. As a English learner I wish I can be older to know everything to speak on behalf of all my Latino people, when we are struggeling with the language and people don't listen to us. Even worse is when teachers don't listen to us, when we are confused with the assigments or when our classmates are bullying us and then they act like the victim and the teacher yiells at us. There are times I whish I was one hundred and two.


Sandra Replies:

Dear Sohary,  All this you are suffering now is part of you camino sagrado.  Right now it is painful for you, but one day you will understand what you were meant to learn and how this pain can be transformed to illuminate your path.  Believe me, you will take this with you in work you have yet to do.  It is meant to make you feel deeply, open your heart, and see with more than your eyes.  Good luck on your path.


Andrea Carvajal


North Carolina


Dear Ms Cisneros,
My name is Andrea. I'm a high school student from North Carolina. I'm an ESL student. I'M 18 years old.
I liked the story because all the things that it says are true.
Those things happened to me when I was little and I felt the same way as Rachel. I just wanted to be older and I still want to be older than my age.
I related to the story because many times I don't feel my age and some times I don't feel anything than to be alive. And I related to when she said that she wished to be one hundred two because sometimes old people don't believe you or they think that they always are right just because you are a kid and they don't let you explain or talk, but if I was older and I could talk to my old teacher,and I will say more than 'yes sir,you're right'.

Sincerely, Andrea


Sandra Replies:

Thank you, Andrea.  You are wise beyond your years!  S

Alan Arroyo


North Carolina


Dear Ms. Cisneros,

Hello, Ms. Cisneros; I am a student from the class of ESL , and we read your story "Eleven" and it is a really good a story. I like how she was eleven years old, but she still felt she was 10 years old. The thing really don't understand is why she wanted to be one hundred and two. Maybe because she thinks she can do everything? At the end of the story, she understands.

Alan Arroyo


Sandra Replies:

Well, Alan, read the story again and again, and wait till you are 21, 33, 43, 53, and one-hundred-and-two.  Each time you read it, you will understand it better and better.  Thanks for writing to me!  S

Fatima Zahid




How do you think you have made an impact in the Spanish world with your poetry and without? How do you further want to?


Sandra Replies:

I hope my poetry will grow as forceful as my fiction in doing spiritual work.  I’m not there yet, perhaps someday.  Right now I feel inadequate to what the times demand from me.  Thanks for asking. 

Catherine Saunier




Dear Sandra,

We have read The House on Mango Street and would like to ask a question : In the last vignette Mango says Goodbye sometimes: is Esperanza still living in Mango Street or is she in a house of her own, remembering her youth?

Thank you for answering !

Catherine and students


Sandra Replies:

Hi, Catherine and Students,

I don’t know the answer to that one.  You tell me.  Either one is plausible if you make a case for it.  Remember, I’m only the dreamer who dreamt the dream.  You are the wise shamans who tell me what the dream meant.


Larisa Callaway-Cole


Santa Paula, CA


Hello Ms. Cisneros,
I’m lying curled in my bed right now thinking of you with A House of My Own opened next to me. I’m so enamored with your work. I’m writing my dissertation right now, and you and your words will be in it. You’ve taught me so much about story and how we make meaning of stories by telling them. I hope I will be able to do that with my writing. It’s funny, I’ll be in Mexico backpacking through Michoacán this summer. I thought I should make a pit stop in Guanajuato to look for you. I’d love to just speak with you and be in your presence. And then last night I read the story about your Purple House and I laughed at myself. You’re an amazing woman who deserves her solitude at home, not crazy people fangirling at your door. I, too, enjoy my solitude!
I really can’t begin to explain what your writing has done for me or my work. I’m deeply indebted to you. Thank you so much.


Sandra Replies:

Thank you for respecting my privacy, Larisa.  It’s why I came to Mexico, among other reasons.  When I’m home, I am the writer not the author.  If you want to meet me, check my calendar for public events.  The author will be glad to see you.  Otherwise, please allow the writer to write.  Mil gracias. S

Minnie Almader




Saludos de Arizona!

I am a counselor at the University of Arizona. Your work and commitment to education makes my day. I have a great job listening to the stories of young adults. I am also writing a "diary of a teenager who grew up in the barrio of Tucson, AZ"

Thank you for generous spirit and beautiful heart!

Dra. Minnie Almader


Sandra Replies:

¡Adelante with your writing, Doctora!  Happy to hear this.  S

Saadia Reichard




Me encanta todos los anos poder leer su novela,:La casa en Mango Street" con mis estudiantes. La disfrutan mucho, ademas aprenden mucho de ella.



Sandra Replies:

Gracias mil, Saadia Reichard.  Me regalas ánimo con tu linda carta.  S

Marie-Elise Wheatwind


Colorado Springs


“Things don’t fall apart. Things hold. Lines connect in thin ways that last and last and lives become generations made out of pictures and words just kept.” ~Lucille Clifton

Dearest Sandra,

I just discovered A House of My Own: Stories from my Life, while birthday shopping for a friend, and bought your book for myself. Why did I not know about this beautiful book of your cuentos sooner? What a precious, inspiring gift! it makes me want to write my own stories. I am trying to hold back and read just little bits, desserts to savor, instead of devouring greedily. Thank you, mil gracias, and Love to you, hermana de palabras.



Sandra Replies:

Thank you!  I hope it does inspire you to write your own creative thoughts, as good books should!  S

Lucy Santillan


Santa Ana


Greetings Sandra,

My name is Lucy Santillan. I am a big fan of you. The city of Santa Ana could really use your help and I know that you are passionate about the movement. I am a student at Santa Ana College in the city of Santa Ana and a member of a student group known at school as Alianza Chicana. We are a club the focuses on teaching students and the community about Chicano/Chicana culture, giving back to the community through community service, and promoting social justice for our people. Over the past week one of our community murals, “Heroes Among Us” was vandalized twice with blue, white, and black paint. The mural was created by Carlos Aguilar over the span of 4 years. “Heroes Among Us” pays direct homage and honors Mexican-American soldiers and fallen soldiers during WWII in Vietnam and pays tribute to the veterans who served. The majority of the veterans displayed are members of the Santa Ana community, more specifically the Logan neighborhood where the mural is located. Carlos Aguilar primarily spent his own funds to buy materials such as paint and tools, only getting small donations from the community. We have come together along with 5 Chicano studies classes, here in Santa Ana, to raise funds for the murals’ restoration. Our club advisor, Rodrigo Valles, has gotten in contact with Aguilar and he is willing to start working on the mural as soon as the resources are available, and not only that but after that mural is restored, he also agreed to help with the restoration of murals all around our beloved Santa Ana. We love our city, we love our people, and we love our community. It would mean everything if you could help us spread the word about our cause and our efforts by sharing our Gofundme page https://www.gofundme.com/sa-quotamong-heroesquot-mural-restoration
Any help is deeply appreciated, from a dollar to a simple share of the page, or even a glance. Below is my contact information for further questions. Thank you for your time.


Sandra Replies:

I will see what I can do.  S

Kaitlin Cole


Highland, CA

Hello, my name is Kaitlin Cole,

I am a Junior in High School and am working on a yearlong project about an author for my AP English 3 class. Towards the beginning of the year I chose Ms. Cisneros to write my report on and have read several of her work, but I am hoping to contact her to ask her a few questions to give my essay a little edge and get an A on my assignment. Thank you, Kaitlin Cole. (kaitlincole04@gmail.com)



Sandra Replies:

Dear Kaitlin, 

Thank you for selecting me,  Kaitlin, but I do not answer questions for school reports due to my time schedule.  Check out my last book,  A HOUSE OF MY OWN, for the little edge you seek.  Good luck. SC

Tommy Stone


Dixon, CA

Dear Ms. Cisneros,

An ex-fiancee left some lines from 'One Last Poem for Richard' on my bed after she'd moved her things out of the apartment while I was away at work. "Drama Queen..." I thought at the time.

Thank you for your beautiful words. Were you aware the fuse had a 2 year time-delay?


Tommy Stone


Sandra Replies:


Dear Tommy Stone,

Well, at least it was a poem and not a Molatov.  I think she meant she has a lot of love for you still, even if things could not work out as you both wished.  She left with regrets and good wishes for you.  Believe me, I know. 

Thank you for sharing this with me.  How bittersweet is love.  The joy reminds us we are alive, but the pain does as well.  Congratulations for taking the risk and for remembering to do so.  Only the brave are willing to open their hearts again, and then again. 

I wish you courage.


Teo Reyna


San Antonio, Texas


Sandra! Hope this message finds you well. I am a long time fan of your writing; interestingly enough, I grew up in Chicago, lived in SF for 22 yrs [attended USF] & now live in San Antonio. I don't know if you are following me or the other way around. I am hoping our paths will cross one day. I am volunteering next month at the SA Book Festival here in SA, maybe then! If not, thank you for your inspiration & for being such a positive role model. Best wishes.


Sandra Replies:

Did we meet?  Hope so!  Good luck to you, Teo, and forgive the delay in reading this, but I was in Taipei and Honolulu just before landing in San Antonio.  Thus, the dark glasses.  S

Kesha B Pun


Kathmandu, Nepal


Dear Author, Namaste (Nepali Word),

I am doing research on your book, "The house on Mango Street" and having so many information through your website and google. I am trying to apply Marxist feminism . May I please get your support?


Sandra Replies:


Dear Kesha B. Pun,

You have my support. There’s plenty of information in my last book A HOUSE OF MY OWN.  Look there.  Good luck.  S