One day I’ll own my house, but I won’t forget who I am or where I came from. ” Says Sandra Cisneros. As a young child, Cisneros enjoyed reading many books. One of them was The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton which is one of the reasons a home is important to her. While attending Catholic school she would receive low grades because of her fear of speaking up and volunteering in class. Although Cisneros learned to work hard in school thanks to her parents, she was still too shy.
One day in tenth grade a teacher encouraged her to read her work to class. Hearing her work they encouraged Cisneros to join the schools literary magazine which, she later became editor of. Growing up Cisneros would always feel isolated from the rest of her family. She says she would especially feel isolated when her father would refer to his “seis hijos y una hija” (“six sons and one daughter”) rather than just saying he had seven children. After high school Cisneros decided to go to University to study English.
After graduating a teacher enrolled Cisneros in Iowa Writer’s Workshop. In the writers workshop she felt weird and strange being a Mexican-American women surrounded by people who were from very different and rich backgrounds. “ It wasn’t as if I didn’t know who I was. I knew I was a Mexican women. But, I didn’t think it had anything to do with why I felt so much imbalance in my life, whereas it had everything to do with it! My race, my gender, and my class!
And it didn’t make any sense until that moment, sitting in that seminar. That’s when I decided I would write about something my classmates couldn’t write about” In a Interview Sandra says “I recall I wanted to write stories that were a cross between poetry and fiction. I was greatly impressed by Jorge Luis Borges’ Dream Tigers stories for their form. I liked how he could fit so much into a page and that the last line of each story was important to the whole in much the same way that the final lines in poems resonate.
Except I wanted to write a collection which could be read at any random point without having any knowledge of what came before or after. Or that could be read in a series to tell one big story. I wanted stories like poems, compact and lyrical and ending with a reverberation. ” As the chapters advance in the story Esperanza matures and talks about being a teenager. Some of the things she talks about are getting a job and physical changes in a girls body. Throughout the story she writes about people she actually knew in her neighborhood and about their issues.
In one of the story she writes about Sally a girl who’s strict dad beats her and gives her no freedom whatsoever. Her book The House On Mango Street has been one of her most successful books written. It is used through out many schools from middle schools to college. In 1986 she received a fellowship award to help her finish My Wicked Wicked Ways. In 1987 Cisneros could not find a job and had run out of money so she soon started a private writing program. She had tried very hard to try to make this program work putting up flyers but it sadly still failed.
After giving up on the failed writing program she decided to take a job teaching a the California State University in Chico, California. While living in California she was given another money grant. She used the grant to write Women Hollering Creek and Other Stories. In 1994 Loose Women was published in a review they said the poetry book represents “a powerful, fiercely independent woman of Mexican heritage, though this time the innocence has long been lost.
Cisneros currently lives in purple Victorian house in San Antonio, Texas which she was in the news for two years because of the city board objecting and saying the color was too bright. Until it had faded into a more lighter lavender color. Cisneros has never had any kids and has never been married. Sandra says that she would always think she would do it later on in her life but she then decided not to she also said it’s a sacrifice about being a writer.
And that she could never really find anyone who would seem like a good father, and she would never be able to afford a child by herself. Cisneros has stories rich in Mexican culture and is a great example of a independent women. Overall I think Cisneros writes about Hispanic culture to show people of different backgrounds the beauty of Mexican culture. And to write about how her life had harsh times yet those harsh times helped her grow up into who she is now. Hopefully Cisneros will keep writing poems and keep inspiring people.