A House of My Own: Stories from My Life

A House of My Own: Stories from My Life

by Sandra Cisneros


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Winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Creative Nonfiction

From Chicago to Mexico, the places Sandra Cisneros has lived have provided inspiration for her now-classic works of fiction and poetry. But a house of her own, a place where she could truly take root, has eluded her. In this jigsaw autobiography, made up of essays and images spanning three decades-and including never-before-published work-Cisneros has come home at last. Written with her trademark lyricism, in these signature pieces the acclaimed author of The House on Mango Street and winner of the 2018 PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature shares her transformative memories and reveals her artistic and intellectual influences. Poignant, honest, and deeply moving, A House of My Own is an exuberant celebration of a life lived to the fullest, from one of our most beloved writers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345807175
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/06/2016
Series: Vintage International Series
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 324,297
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Sandra Cisneros is a poet, short story writer, novelist and essayist whose work explores the lives of the working-class. Her numerous awards include NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction, the Texas Medal of the Arts, a MacArthur Fellowship, several honorary doctorates and national and international book awards, including Chicago’s Fifth Star Award, the PEN Center USA Literary Award, and the National Medal of the Arts awarded to her by President Obama in 2016. Most recently, she received the Ford Foundation’s Art of Change Fellowship, was recognized among The Frederick Douglass 200, and was awarded the PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature.

Her classic, coming-of-age novel, The House on Mango Street, has sold over six million copies, has been translated into over twenty languages, and is required reading in elementary, high school, and universities across the nation.

In addition to her writing, Cisneros has fostered the careers of many aspiring and emerging writers through two non-profits she founded: the Macondo Foundation and the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation. She is also the organizer of Los MacArturos, Latino MacArthur fellows who are community activists. Her literary papers are preserved in Texas at the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University. 

Sandra Cisneros is a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico and earns her living by her pen. She currently lives in San Miguel de Allende.


San Antonio, Texas

Date of Birth:

December 20, 1954

Place of Birth:

Chicago, Illinois


B.A., Loyola University, 1976; M.F.A., University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, 1978

Table of Contents

Introduction 3

Hydra House 9

No Place Like Home 34

Luis Omar Salinas 41

Falling in Love with Enamoramiento 49

Marguerite Duras 53

Huipiles 56

Vivan los Muertos 66

Straw into Gold 73

A Tango for Astor 84

Only Daughter 91

Letter to Gwendolyn Brooks 96

My Wicked Wicked Ways 99

Who Wants Stories Now 105

La Casa Que Canta 113

Mercè Rodoreda 117

The House on Mango Street's Tenth Birthday 124

I Can Live Sola and I Love to Work 132

Tapicero's Daughter 141

Guadalupe the Sex Goddess 160

Que Vivan los Colores! 170

Tenemos Layaway, or, How I Became an Art Collector 177

An Ofrenda for My Father on Day of the Dead 191

Un Poquito de Tu Amor 198

Eduardo Galeano 206

Infinito Botánica 215

El Pleito / The Quarrel 219

To Seville, with Love 226

A White Flower 235

Señor Cappuccino 240

Natural Daughter 245

A Girl Called Daydreamer 265

A House of My Own 270

An Ofrenda for My Mother 289

Resurrections 298

Ten Thousand 303

The Author Responds to Your Letter Requesting My Book Be Banned from the School Library 307

The Girl Who Became a Saint: Teresa Urrea 312

Chavela Vargas: Una Mujer Muy Mujer 325

Chocolate and Donuts 331

Akumal 337

A Borrowed House 341

Epilogue: Mi Casa Es Su Casa 350

Pilón: Infinito 371

Resting Place/Descanso 375

Acknowledgments 377

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