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Search tags: Sandra-Cisneros
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review 2016-01-04 14:23
Really Sexy Poetry
Loose Woman - Sandra Cisneros

My first read of 2016-- and what a good one! If you know Sandra Cisneros mostly for House on Mango Street, pick up this collection of poetry for all the same literary finesse a more adult flair. These poems are rhythmic, lyrical, and really sexy. That's the best way I have to describe them: really sexy.

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review 2015-11-14 16:49
A House of My Own: Stories From My Life
A House of My Own: Stories from My Life - Sandra Cisneros

A House of My Own: Stories From My Life by Sandra Cisneros is a collection of previously written works pulled together to create a "jigsaw autobiography." The topics range from personal stories to tributes to responses to criticism to social commentary. I read the book as individual, stand alone pieces without an expectation of cohesion or chronology. As is true of any collection, some pieces speak more to me than others.


Read my complete review at: Memories From Books - A House of My Own


Source: www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2015/11/a-house-of-my-own-stories-from-my-life.html
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review 2015-08-22 17:26
The House on Mango Street - Sandra Cisneros

Sandra Cisneros is a writer I had known about for years. But it wasn't until 3 days ago that I began reading this, her debut novel. "THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET." It's a short novel filled with chapters that tell their own story of a young Chicana girl (Esperanza Cordero) who lives in a modest neighborhood in Chicago peopled with a variety of characters. Some of them come and go in the twinkling of an eye. Others, like Cathy, Queen of Cats, Sally - the apple of many a man's eyes, and Alicia from Guadalajara, reside on Mango Street awhile before settling elsewhere.

Esperanza, as she gets older, has ambitions to leave Mango Street to which she never felt she belonged. She wants her own place. "Not a flat. Not an apartment in back. Not a man's house. Not a daddy's. A house all my own. With my porch and my pillow, my pretty purple petunias. My books and my stories. My two shoes waiting beside the bed. Nobody to shake a stick at. Nobody's garbage to pick up after." Notwithstanding that, her life on Mango Street, Esperanza realizes once she has moved away, has helped to shape her into the person she has become. And for that, she acknowledges that she will always be a part of Mango Street.

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review 2015-04-22 19:42
The House on Mango Street
The House on Mango Street - Sandra Cisneros

This book will always remind me of my sophomore year of high school (and it's inextricably intertwined with Suzanne Vega in my head). Each vignette is very short and best read slowly. I found this a satisfying reread after all of these neatly tied up stories I've been reading lately. Some characters only show up once and then they're gone. Despite one objectionable use of the term oriental (the book was published in 1984, but I'm not clear on when it's set) The House on Mango Street is pretty fantastic.

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review 2014-11-19 03:22
The House on Mango Street - Sandra Cisneros

Acclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero.

Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous – it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become.





I've heard about this book for a number of years and I've yet to hear one bad review of it. And you won't find one here today! This was never required reading for me in school, but here lately it seems to be popping up on the Booktube radar again. It being such a short read, I figured now was as good a time as any to scratch it off the TBR. 


I enjoyed how all the vignettes illustrated all the facets and little details that give a community its uniqueness -- the people and their specialty businesses, the "homemade fun" neighborhood kids come up with, as well as the psychological aspects such as broken families struggling to continue on, some struggling with depression; people's inner fears, dreams and longings; the desire to escape for some; the secrets that go on behind closed doors. The story also brings up neighborhood crime and how that affects everyone. 


There's a feeling of innocence to the stories until about halfway through the book. Then the tone seems to do a sharp turn into dark and somewhat seedy territory. It reminded a bit of when I read Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson... though maybe not quite as grim. So many of the characters here seem to have pasts tinged with sadness (but then, who doesn't, I suppose) and so many just trying to make it through each day... making this one read that any number of readers will probably find relatable on at least some level. 


I found this to be a very quiet, contemplative read. There is one scene that hints at a sexual assault, but aside from that, the novel is predominately just simple but striking observations within a single community. What I especially enjoyed about Cisneros' writing is her unique way of describing things. For example, this description of laughter:


Nenny and I don't look like sisters... not right away... But me and Nenny, we are more alike than you would know. Our laughter for example. Not the shy ice cream bells' giggle of Rachel and Lucy's family, but all of a sudden and surprised like a pile of dishes breaking. 


How beautiful and perfectly audible is that! :-) My favorite passage though, the part I found most moving, was when the main character, Esperanza, tells the story of her namesake:


It was my great-grandmother's name and now it is mine. My great-grandmother. I would have liked to have known her, a wild horse of a woman, so wild she wouldn't marry. Until my great-grandfather threw a sack over her head and carried her off. Just like that, as if she were a fancy chandelier. That's the way he did it. 


And the story goes she never forgave him. She looked out the window her whole life, the way so many women sit their sadness on an elbow. I wonder if she made the best with what she got or was she sorry because she couldn't be all the things she wanted to be. Esperanza. I have inherited her name, but I don't want to inherit her place by the window. 


Ugh, breaks my heart but so good! I definitely recommend giving this one at least one read in your life. It's such a short read, I doubt it'll take you more than a few hours at most but the writing is simple yet stunningly impactful, proving a work doesn't have to be chock full of flowery, pompous words to rightfully be deemed a classic. 

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