Sandra Cisneros: Inspiring Latina Author

Overview

Sandra Cisneros began her career as an author by writing about her childhood memories. She used language she heard every day in her neighborhood. She mixed English with Spanish words and phrases. Through her stories, she learned to speak out loud. She learned to laugh. She used language she heard every day, yet she wrote with a voice all her own. Cisneros has overcome many hardships, including poverty and racism, to become a unique voice of Mexican-American literature. She now encourages other women and members ...

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Overview

Sandra Cisneros began her career as an author by writing about her childhood memories. She used language she heard every day in her neighborhood. She mixed English with Spanish words and phrases. Through her stories, she learned to speak out loud. She learned to laugh. She used language she heard every day, yet she wrote with a voice all her own. Cisneros has overcome many hardships, including poverty and racism, to become a unique voice of Mexican-American literature. She now encourages other women and members of minority groups as both a writer and activist to achieve their full potential in life.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—In many ways, this biography follows the genre's standard formula. It describes Cisneros's parents' lives, her childhood and her college years, her struggles to get her fiction and poetry published, and her success as a leading Chicana author. But Warrick brings originality to Cisneros's story by explaining how the facts of the novelist's life provide a foundation for her advocacy on behalf of others. For instance, the author explains that as a poor girl growing up in a conservative Latino community, Cisneros saw many women whose lives and aspirations were restricted by cultural traditions. As a result, she was inspired to use fiction to express what she calls "the words of thousands of silent women" who did not share her opportunities for advancement and independence. Sidebars shed further light on how Cisneros's life informs her work. For example, "Balancing Act" describes how the writer navigates her dual Mexican and American cultures. Back matter includes a chronology of the major events in her life and a list of all of her published works. The text is well documented with endnotes, which often include URLs so readers can easily access Warrick's primary sources. The glossary includes cultural terms as well as publishing-industry terms such as "advance." This straightforward, thorough biography is a solid addition to most collections.—Mary Landrum, Lexington Public Library, KY
Children's Literature - Jody Little
As part of the "Latino Biography Library" series, this book tells the story of author, Sandra Cisneros. Cisneros refers to herself as Chicana, specifically meaning: a female person of Mexican heritage born in the United States, who developed a political consciousness during the Civil Rights Movement. As Cisneros grew, she rapidly became aware of how different she was from other American children. Growing up in a barrio and blending two different cultures gave her a much different image of "home" than her classmates. Her first, and most famous, novel, The House on Mango Street, is very much a reflection on her life in her Chicago barrio and the people she came into contact with. After graduating from Loyola College and the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop, Cisneros knew she wanted to be a writer, but writing did not pay the bills, initially. Cisneros took numerous jobs over the years as a counselor and teacher. The success of The House on Mango Street, as well as her poetry and short story collections, finally allowed Cisneros the opportunity to write full time. She settled in San Antonio, Texas, where she still lives today. Cisneros continues to write and teach workshops, and is active in several foundations supporting the arts. Cisneros remains outspoken about political issues, particularly those involving the rights of women of color. The smooth tone and the use of excerpts and photos make this biography a pleasing read. Older students may be inspired to read Cisneros work and try some of her writing tips. Reviewer: Jody Little
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780766031623
  • Publisher: Enslow Publishers, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/1/2009
  • Series: Latino Biography Library
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 11 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

1 The House on Mango Street 5

2 In The Barrio 13

3 A House, Not a Home 21

4 The Young Writer 27

5 A "Wacky" Voice All Her Own 35

6 Stories Or "Healthy Lies" 42

7 Chicana Around the World 50

8 Tejanos and Texas 56

9 Time to Write 65

10 Speaking Out 75

11 Death and Change 83

12 Writing All Alone In Her Pajamas 93

Chronology 103

Chapter Notes 107

Books By Sandra Cisneros 120

Glossary 121

Further Reading And Internet Addresses 125

Index 126

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