This book will be a jewel on your bookshelf. My favorite part about it is that each "chapter" is short but contains such full concepts in a tiny space. This is a book you can pick up and put down without any detriment to your reading experience. While reading this, I was impressed by Cisneros's ability to relay ideas and stories that get to the core of human experience, and by her personal poetic observations, within just a page or two. Some themes this book touches on are: home, belonging, power, community, poverty, and much more. Recommended By Junix S., Powells.com
In the introduction to the 25th Anniversary edition, Sandra Cisneros refers to the collection of vignettes that make up The House on Mango Street as “a jar of buttons.” Mismatched “little stories” that came together in the telling into one of literature's most enduring portraits of a neighborhood, a time, a coming-of-age. The House on Mango Street was my first brush with vignettes — how exciting to find that a novel could be many things, could look like many things, could be flexible like poetry. Thirty-seven years after its publication, it is easy to see why this jar of buttons is still an English curriculum staple. Alongside its play with form, it never shies away from interrogations of tough subjects, from poverty to racism, sexuality to abuse, all while painting a deeply moving picture of a young girl finding her way. If you haven’t had the pleasure of revisiting this novel since your own high school English class, consider this your overdue invitation. Recommended By Sarah R., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Told in a series of vignettes stunning for their eloquence, The House on Mango Street
is Sandra Cisneros's greatly admired novel of a young girl growing up in the Latino section of Chicago. Acclaimed by critics, beloved by children, their parents and grandparents, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, it has entered the canon of coming-of-age classics.
Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous, The House on Mango Street tells the story of Esperanza Cordero, whose neighborhood is one of harsh realities and harsh beauty. Esperanza doesn't want to belong not to her rundown neighborhood, and not to the low expectations the world has for her. Esperanza's story is that of a young girl coming into her power, and inventing for herself what she will become.
"Cisneros draws on her rich heritage...and seduces with precise, spare prose, creat[ing] unforgettable characters...She is not only a gifted writer, but an absolutely essential one." New York Times Book Review
"Marvelous...spare yet luminous. The subtle power of Cisneros's storytelling is evident. She comunicates all the rapture and rage of growing up in a modern world." San Francisco Chronicle
"A deeply moving novel...delightful and poignant...Like the best of poetry, it opens the windows of the heart without a wasted word." Miami Herald
"Sandra Cisneros is one of the most brillant of today's young writers. Her work is sensitive, alert, nuanceful...rich with music and picture." Gwendolyn Brooks
About the Author
Sandra Cisneros was born in Chicago in 1954. She has worked as a teacher to high school dropouts, a poet-in-the-schools, a college recruiter, and an arts administrator. Internationally acclaimed for her poetry and fiction, and the recipient of numberous awards, Cisneros is also the author of Caramelo, Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories, My Wicked Wicked Ways, Loose Woman, and a children's book, Hairs/Pelitos.
Powell's Books on PowellsBooks.Blog
To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, we’ve teamed up with avid readers both within Powell’s and in the Portland Latinx community to create a list of great books by Mexican and Mexican American authors.