The House on Mango Street. Sandra Cisneros published 1984. Who am I? .
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The House on Mango Street tells the story of Esperanza Cordero, whose neighborhood is one of harsh realities and harsh 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.
“Since its publication in 1984, Mango Street has sold more than 2 million copies, becoming a perennial on library and classroom reading lists across the country. It is the story of Esperanza, a young, alienated Chicana girl growing up in a gritty, inner-city neighborhood in Chicago, a feminist and Hispanic coming-of-age tale.”
”As a writer, Cisneros is known for the vividness and vitality of her prose and her ability to capture working-class Mexican-Americans with immediacy and poignancy, weaving together their voices quickly and lyrically. Mango Street is a novel, but it is made up of bursts, with chapters often only a few paragraphs long. As Cisneros says simply, "I'm a miniaturist," meaning the scale of her work is small but intense.”
”Cisneros' stories often have narrators who need to speak, who feel they have to fight to be heard.”
She writes in a “patch work quilt” style
These vignettes add up, as Sandra Cisneros has written, “to tell one big story, each story contributing to the whole–like beads in a necklace.” We are going to attempt to find out what this necklace says.
Cisneros's writing is often influenced by her personal experiences and by observations of the people in her community. She once confided to other writers at a conference in Santa Fe that she writes down "snippets of dialogue or monologue — records of conversations she hears wherever she goes." These snippets are then mixed and matched to create her stories. Names for her characters often come from the San Antonio phone book; "she leafs through the listings for a last name then repeats the process for a first name." By mixing and matching she is assured that she is not appropriating anyone's real name or real story, but at the same time her versions of characters and stories are believable.