Sandra Cisneros

Sandra Cisneros ( born December 20, 1954 in Chicago) is an American writer and poet of Mexican descent, with her ​​first novel The House on Mango Street (English Original title: The House on Mango Street), which appeared in 1984, also became internationally known. Cisneros plays with literary forms, which Cisneros herself on her cross-cultural background and the difficult material conditions in which they grew up, returns. It is regarded as one of the key figures in the so-called Chicano literature.

In her literary work, the influences of their childhood and youth reflect: She grew up as the only daughter in a family with six male siblings, which helped her to feel often isolated within their family. She lived during her childhood alternately in Mexico and the United States, which forced them to come up with the demands of two heterogeneous cultures to the edge without belonging to one of the two cultures. Therefore Cisneros focuses on in her literary work regularly wrestle with such forms of cultural identity and also addresses the misogynistic attitude that is present in both cultures in their opinion. The experience of material poverty is also an issue that is often found in her work. Both have contributed to her first novel The House on Mango Street has been translated into numerous languages ​​and is classified as a reading material that is regularly treated as a typical Bildungsroman in U.S. schools.

Sandra Cisneros has been awarded several prizes. She was among other things the Anisfield - Wolf Book Award for her short story collection "Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories ". 1995 she was a MacArthur Fellow.


Sandra Cisneros was born on December 20, 1954 in Chicago, Illinois, the third of seven siblings. Cisneros great-grandfather had been a wealthy, had this prosperity, however verspielt.Ihr paternal grandfather was a participant in the Mexican Revolution and laid great emphasis on Cisneros 's father, Alfredo Cisneros de Moral, to enable a scholarship. Sandra Cisneros himself her father, however, certifies a lack of interest in studying. After he had failed exams, he went to the United States in order to escape the wrath of his father. During a stay in Chicago, he met Elvira Cordero Angulano know. The two married and settled in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Chicago.

Cisneros 's father began working as an upholsterer to support his family, while the whole family started at the same time constantly to commute between Chicago and Mexico City. This became the dominant aspect in Cisneros ' youth. It meant that the family had to find new housing and schools for the children regularly. This instability led to her six brothers two by two deposed by the family, what their sense of isolation in their male-dominated family still increased. At this isolation her father wore it, his children as " seis hijos y hija us " ( six sons and a daughter) and not as a " victory hijos " ( seven children) designated. Cisneros 's biographer Full underlines, however, that the sense of isolation was essential that Cisneros developed such a passion for writing. However, a significant influence on Cisneros had her mother Elvira, who was an avid reader and generally have a higher education and a more pronounced social consciousness possessed as her father. However, Cisneros 's biographer whole also believes that Elvira dependent and generally their options were limited by her husband in order to realize their potential. Instead, however, they did much to give her daughter the opportunity to live their skills.

When Cisneros was 11 years old, her family acquired a house in a predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood. < This residential area and the people who lived there, had a significant impact on Cisneros ' first novel The House on Mango Street. Your high school years spent Cisneros at the Josephinum Academy, a small Catholic girls' school. Here she found a mentor in one of her teachers who encouraged her to write poetry about the Vietnam War. She has worked with at a school magazines, but they said about himself that she had begun to write seriously during their college days. The trigger was the first seminar on creative writing, which she visited in 1974. However, it took a while until they got itself to its own form of expression. They even explained it this way: I rejected the obvious and imitated the voices of the poets that I had always admired in books: obese male voices like James Wright and Richard Hugo and Theodore Roethke, which for me were not all right but.

Cisneros earned Bachelor 1976 at Loyola University Chicago and in 1978 received his Master of Fine Arts at the University of Iowa. During her time at the University of Iowa, she was aware of their particular social position. She herself remembers that she realized suddenly how much they differed from their fellow students:

"It was not that I was not aware of who I was. I knew I was a Mexican woman. But, I had not realized that this had something to do with the imbalance in my life, even though everything connected with it! My race, my gender and my social class. But all was not yet made sense in the seminar up to that morning. At that moment I decided that I would write about about, about that my classmates could not write. "

She gave from the moment the attempt to adapt to the American literary canon and developed a writing style that consciously differed from their fellow students. She realized that she should not be ashamed of their own cultural roots, but that this was their source of inspiration. From then on, she began to write about their neighbors and about the poverty that characterized especially the life story of women.

In addition to her work as a novelist and poet Cisneros has held a number of different professions. After she completed her MFA in 1978, she taught at the school drop Latina Yough High School in Chicago. The success of her first novel The House on Mango Sreet has meant that she was invited by various universities as a Writer in Residence, teaching seminars in creative writing. Among the universities, where he pursued such activities include the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Michigan. Most recently, she has performed such an activity at the Our ​​Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. Among the authors who see themselves influenced by Sandra Cisneros, Junot Díaz is one who for his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao won the Pulitzer Prize in 2008. Díaz is similar to Cisneros grew up bilingual and bicultural and used in his English-language texts such as Cisneros common Spanish phrases or words.

Writing style

Cisneros currently lives and works in San Antonio, Texas. Your decision to move from Illinois to Texas, she reasoned with the fact that they need physical distance from their relatives. Only the enable her to fully concentrate on writing: writing is for them to dive as with the head under water.

Cisneros 's literary work is often characterized by their personal experiences and observations of the people in their immediate environment. During a conference in Santa Fe she mentioned to other authors that they often fractions of dialogues and monologues write down that they hear random. These fractions are then mixed by it with others and modified to fit into their stories. The names of their characters, they often choose from the directory of San Antonio. You flip through the pages until she had a surname found it appealing, and then repeat the process for the given name.

Your bilingualism and their bi- cultural identity are essential aspects of their work process. Robin whole refers to a direct statement of Cisneros, when she writes that the author is grateful to so many words available to have two times that they can choose. It would be two ways of looking at the world.

Importance to the Chicano literature

The literary critic Claudia Sadowski -Smith has Cisneros referred to as probably the most well-known Chicana writer ( " Chicana " is the feminine form of " Chicano " ) and you, as the first Mexican-American author who has been published by one of the major U.S. publishing houses granted a role as a pioneer. Cisneros 's first novel The House on Mango Street was published in 1989 in the small publishing company Arte Público Press, was oriented with its publishing program to a reading public with Latin American roots. The second edition, however, was released in 1991 by Vintage Books, a publishing house within the Random House Group. 1991 was published directly Woman Hollering Creek by Random House. As Cisneros ' biographer whole notes, there were up to this time only male Chicano authors who were successfully switched to one of the big publishers. The fact that Cisneros 's first novel attracted so much attention that a publishers like Vintage Books took him, illustrates the increasing importance of Chicano literature within the American literary scene.

In an interview on National Public Radio Cisneros said on 19 September 1991.

" I think I can not be happy if I 'm the only one that will be published by Random House when so many other great writers - both Latinos and Latinas and Chicanas or Chicanos - is that in the U.S. not of great be published publishing houses or these are not even known. If my success would mean that publishers again a second look at these writers - and then run these in significant numbers, then we will finally arrive in this country. "

The literary critic Alvina E. Quintana called The House on Mango Street as a book that is far beyond the typical radiating now reading audience of Chicano literature and will be read by people of all ethnic backgrounds. Quintana believes that Cisneros ' narrative work to the same extent as Mexican-Americans is accessible to Anglo - Americans because it is free from any annoyance or indictment and issues such as Chicana identity and gender inequalities performing in a way that they both groups make accessible. Cisneros work has thereby influences both the Chicano and generally female literature. Cisneros himself sees her narrative works as a form of social commentary, which stand in a literary tradition of contemporary anthropologists, who would try also, authentically reflect the cultural experiences of a group of people.