My Wicked Wicked Ways

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Hailed as "not only a gifted writer, but an absolutely essential one" (The New York Times Book Review), Sandra Cisneros has firmly established herself as an author of electrifying talent. Here are verses, comic and sad, radiantly pure and plainspoken, that reveal why her stories have been praised for their precision and musicality of language.

Hailed as "not only a gifted writer, but an absolutely essential one" (The New York Times Book Review), Sandra Cisneros has ...

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My Wicked Wicked Ways

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Overview

Hailed as "not only a gifted writer, but an absolutely essential one" (The New York Times Book Review), Sandra Cisneros has firmly established herself as an author of electrifying talent. Here are verses, comic and sad, radiantly pure and plainspoken, that reveal why her stories have been praised for their precision and musicality of language.

Hailed as "not only a gifted writer, but an absolutely essential one" (The New York Times Book Review), Sandra Cisneros has firmly established herself as an author of electrifying talent. Here are verses, comic and sad, radiantly pure and plainspoken, that reveal why her stories have been praised for their precision and musicality of language.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This collection reveals the same affinity for distilled phrasing and surprise, both in language and dramatic development, found in Cisneros's volumes of short stories, Woman Hollering Creek and The House on Mango Street . For a glimpse of it, see the poem ``Josie Bliss'': ``a tropical dream / of Wednesdays / a bitter sorrow / like the salt / between the breasts.'' Of the book's four parts, the first two immerse the reader in the Chicana homefront, including the poet's own place in it, presumably the San Antonio familiar from her prose work. The remaining two parts leave the barrio behind, as the author's world becomes more cosmopolitan and still more personal. Here Cisneros reflects on herself and her men, on how she treats them and they her. Although some poems in the last sections are excellent--``No Mercy,'' with its air of a prosecutor's brief, is splendid--as a love poet, Cisneros attitudinizes too much and uses her tight style more to ration her candor than to impel images. Even so, a disconcerting degree of sentimentality somehow gets through (``I forget the reasons, but I loved you once, / remember?''), along with some enervated deadpan humor: ``I've learned two things. / To let go / clean as kite string. / And to never wash a man's clothes. / These are my rules.'' (Dec.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780943219011
  • Publisher: Third Woman Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/1987
  • Pages: 104
  • Product dimensions: 5.41 (w) x 8.49 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Sandra Cisneros

Sandra Cisneros was born in Chicago in 1954. Internationally acclaimed for her poetry and fiction, she has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lannan Literary Award and the American Book Award, and of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the MacArthur Foundation. Cisneros is the author of the novels The House on Mango Street and Caramelo, a collection of short stories Woman Hollering Creek, a book of poetry Loose Woman, and a children's book Hairs/Pelitos. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.

Biography

Sandra Cisneros' first novel, The House on Mango Street, brought an entirely new voice to American literature, describing the experience of narrator Esperanza Cordero, a Mexican American girl living a hardscrabble existence in Chicago. As Bebe Moore Campbell put it, in the New York Times Book Review: "She is not only a gifted writer, but an absolutely essential one."

The book bore the author's powerful descriptive talents: Comparing her house on Mango Street with the "real house" her parents had promised her, Esperanza notes, "The house on Mango street is not the way they told it at all. It's small and red with tight steps in front and windows so small you'd think they were holding their breath."

Cisneros, who grew up in Chicago as the only daughter in a family of seven children, attended college on scholarship and was an ethnic anomaly as a graduate student at University of Iowa's renowned Writers' Workshop. There is a lyric quality to Cisneros' work that makes sense, given her alternate life as a poet who has published several volumes of poetry (two, 1980's Bad Boys and 1985's The Rodrigo Poems, are no longer in print).

As a poet, Cisneros has a staccato, highly evocative style. From "A Few Items to Consider," for example: "First there is the scent of barley/to remember. Barley and rain./The smooth terrain to recollect and savor./Unforgiving whiteness of the room./Ambiguity of linen. Purity./Mute and still as photographs on the moon." Cisneros suffuses her poetry and fiction with healthy dose of Spanish and a feminine sensibility, female narrators who remember everything and for whom no detail or sensation is too small. Paragraphs are often punctuated by lists and five-word snapshots. As Cisneros herself has said, she is a miniaturist.

Her poetry and a 1991 collection of stories, Woman Hollering Creek, would have to tide fans over until the long-awaited release of her second novel, 2002's Caramelo. Like her first novel, the story is narrated by a Mexican-American girl; but the scope is a broader one, covering generations of a family as viewed through a cherished caramelo rebozo, or striped traditional shawl, which has been passed down through generations to the book's heroine.

Caramelo has a comical and occasionally unconventional spirit to it, as when one of the characters in the story breaks in to complain about how she is being portrayed. The novel began as an exploration of her own family, and the connection to Cisneros' own life is evident. Here as in other work, Cisneros fills in the gaps between Mexico and the U.S., personal myth and reality.

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    1. Hometown:
      San Antonio, Texas
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 20, 1954
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chicago, Illinois
    1. Education:
      B.A., Loyola University, 1976; M.F.A., University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, 1978

Table of Contents

Velorio 3
Sir James South Side 5
South Sangamon 6
Abuelito Who 7
Arturo Burro 8
Mexican Hat Dance 9
Good Hotdogs 10
Muddy Kid Comes Home 11
I Told Susan Reyna 12
Twister Hits Houston 14
Curtains 15
Joe 16
Traficante 18
My Wicked Wicked Ways 23
Six Brothers 25
Mariela 27
Josie Bliss 28
I the Woman 29
Something Crazy 31
In a redneck bar down the street 33
Love Poem #1 34
The blue dress 35
The Poet Reflects on Her Solitary Fate 37
His Story 38
Letter to Ilona from the South of France 43
Ladies, South of France - Vence 45
December 24th, Paris - Notre-Dame 46
Beautiful Man - France 47
Postcard to the Lace Man - The Old Market, Antibes 48
Letter to Jahn Franco - Venice 49
To Cesare, Goodbye 52
Ass 53
Trieste - Ciao to Italy 55
Peaches - Six in a Tin Bowl, Sarajevo 56
Hydra Night - House on Fire 57
Hydra Coming Down in Rain 58
Fishing Calamari by Moon 60
Moon in Hydra 61
One Last Poem for Richard 62
For a Southern Man 64
A woman cutting celery 69
Sensuality Plunging Barefoot Into Thorns 71
Valparaiso 73
I understand it as a kiss 76
For All Tuesday Travelers 77
No Mercy 78
The world without Rodrigo 80
Rodrigo Returns to the Land and Linen Celebrates 81
Beatrice 82
Rodrigo de Barro 83
Rodrigo in the Dark 85
The So-and-So's 86
Monsieur Mon Ami 88
Drought 90
By Way of Explanation 92
Ame, Amo, Amare 94
Men Asleep 98
New Year's Eve 99
14 de julio 101
Tantas Cosas Asustan, Tantas 102
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2002

    a wicked read

    i recieved this book from a friend in Los Angeles, i live in ireland and had never seen Sandra's work. i wanted to read and re-read this book, i found it beautiful, funny, loving and honest....even if i don't read spanish, but ill get that rectified. if you get it, make sure you leave yourself time to read the whole thing, i know i could not put it down.

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