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Sunday, December 20, 2015

'I could tell their stories'


“I always tell people that I became a writer not because I went to school but because my mother took me to the library. I wanted to become a writer so I could see my name in the card catalog. – Sandra Cisneros

Cisneros (born on this date in 1954) is an American writer best known for her acclaimed first novel The House on Mango Street and her subsequent short story collection Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories.   She is the recipient of numerous awards including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and is 
regarded as a key figure in Chicana literature.

A native of Chicago who now lives in San Antonio, TX, Cisneros worked as a teacher, a counselor, a college recruiter, a poet-in-the-schools, and an arts administrator before her writing successes.  Since then, she has maintained a strong commitment to community and literary causes. In 1998 she established the Macondo Foundation, which provides socially conscious workshops for writers. 

It was gaining an understanding of her own social and cultural background that gave her the insight and courage to write from those perspectives.  “Cultural environment became a source of inspiration.  I could write of neighbors, the people I saw, the poverty that the women had gone through.  I could tell their stories. 

“One press account said I was an overnight success,” Sandra said.   “I thought 'that was the longest night I've ever spent'.




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