The House on Mango Street – Sandra Cisneros

The House on Mango Street is a short book written in 1984 by American author Sandra Cisneros, which still hasn’t lost any of its popularity. Consisting of short forty-four chapters, The House on Mango Street is about the lives of Mexican American families in Chicago while also telling the story of Esperanza Cordero. It is a book you’ll finish in one sitting, and it’ll throw you among immigrants in a poor neighbourhood of Chicago.

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The House on Mango Street - Sandra Cisneros

We listen to the stories in The House on Mango Street from Esperanza Cordero, who is of Mexican origin. After a while, you start to see the world as Esperanza and feel what she feels. As she grew older, I found myself thinking about all the things she had experienced and wanted to do in the future. Sandra Cisneros has a tender and beautiful style. Although she has written an unusual novel, it is very impressive.

If you’re a plot-oriented reader, you might not like The House on Mango Street because there’s no plot. Instead, there are short sections from various lives. However, it is such a short book that you will finish it before saying you’re bored, so I suggest you take a look. Enjoy!

The House on Mango Street - Sandra Cisneros

The House on Mango Street

It’s not always that a luscious writer can be a luscious reader of her own work.  This must be the voice she hears in her head when she writes her magical prose.”
-Julia Alvarez, author of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents

The House on Mango Street: Listen as Sandra Cisneros brings to life The House on Mango Street, her 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.

The House on Mango Street tells the story of Esperanza Cordero, whose neighborhood is one of harsh realities and hard 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.

This timeless classic,The House on Mango Street, is now available, for the first time, unabridged.

Sandra Cisneros

From Sandra Cisneros‘ website:

I was born in Chicago in 1954, the third child and only daughter in a family of seven children. I studied at Loyola University of Chicago (B.A. English, 1976) and the University of Iowa (M.F.A. Creative Writing, 1978).

I’ve worked as a teacher and counsellor to high-school dropouts, as an artist-in-the-schools where I taught creative writing at every level except first grade and pre-school, a college recruiter, an arts administrator, and as a visiting writer at a number of universities including the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

The House on Mango Street, first published in 1984, won the Before Columbus Foundation’s American Book Award in 1985 and is required reading in middle schools, high schools, and universities across the country. It has sold over six million copies since its initial publication and is still selling strongly. 2009 marked the 25th anniversary of the publication of The House on Mango Street in the United States and I traveled to twenty cities to celebrate with readers.  I am currently working with composer Derek Bermel on House on Mango Street, The Opera. Prior to the pandemic, previews of the opera were held at Yale and Chautauqua.

The House on Mango Street - Sandra Cisneros

Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories was awarded the PEN Center West Award for Best Fiction of l99l, the Quality Paperback Book Club New Voices Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the Lannan Foundation Literary Award, and was selected as a noteworthy book of the year by The New York Times and The American Library Journal, and nominated Best Book of Fiction for l99l by The Los Angeles Times.

Loose Woman won the Mountains & Plains Booksellers’ Award.

Caramelo was selected as a notable book of the year by several journals including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune, and the Seattle Times. In 2005 Caramelo was awarded the Premio Napoli and was short listed for the Dublin International IMPAC Award. It was also nominated for the Orange Prize in England.

Vintage Cisneros, published in 2004, is a compilation of selections from my works.

Have You Seen Marie?, a picture book for grown-ups with illustrations by Ester Hernández, was published by Knopf in 2012. The book is now available in eBook and paperback editions.

A House of My Own: Stories From My Life was released in 2015. It is now available in paperback. The collection of essays won the 2016 PEN Center USA Literary Award for creative nonfiction.

My books have been translated into twenty-five languages, including Spanish, Galician, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Norwegian, Japanese, Chinese, Turkish, and, most recently, into Egyptian, Greek, Iranian, Thai, and Serbo-Croatian. Each of my books has been translated into Spanish and is available in the U.S., and they’re available as audio books read by me.  

Caramelo and The House on Mango Street have been selected for many One City One Book projects in numerous communities including Los Angeles, Miami, Fort Worth, El Paso, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Santa Ana, and Kansas City with several more in the works.

In 1995, I was awarded the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and I subsequently helped organize the Latino MacArthur Fellows — Los MacArturos — a caucus of Latino awardees united in community service.

I’ve received many other honors, including the Texas Institute of Letters Dobie-Paisano Fellowship, l984; and an Illinois Artists Fellowship, l984; the Chicano Short Story Award from the University of Arizona, l986; the Roberta Holloway Lectureship at the University of California, Berkeley, l988; two National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowships in poetry and prose, 1982, 1988; an honorary Doctor of Letters from the State University of New York at Purchase, l993; an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Loyola University, Chicago.

2002; and honorary degrees from DePaul University in 2014 and from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2016; the Texas Medal of the Arts, 2003; the Fifth Star Award presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, 2015; Tia Chucha’s Lifetime Achievement Award; the Fairfax Prize in 2016. I received the Ford Foundation’s Art of Change Fellowship in 2018. Most recently I was recognized as part of The Frederick Douglas 200.

I founded both the Macondo Foundation, an association of socially engaged writers, and the Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation, a grant-giving institution that served Texas writers for fifteen years.

Currently, I live with two San Miguelense chihuahuas, Luz de Mi Vida and Osvaldo Amor, a xolo-chihuahua named Nahui Ollin, and a new addition, a dachshund—Leopoldine Puffina.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

Read Around the World

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