Quotes by: Sandra Cisneros
Cisneros in 2009
December 20, 1954 |
Chicago, Illinois, US
||Novelist, poet, short story writer
||The House on Mango Street, Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories
||American Book Award, McArthur Fellowship
One of my favorite writers is Hans Christian Anderson. His stories speak to the times.
'Hispanic' is English for a person of Latino origin who wants to be accepted by the white status quo. 'Latino' is the word we have always used for ourselves.
I was a terrible student. Still, I managed to get into college, but my daydreaming threatened to sabotage me. I used behavior modification to break the cycle. I started by setting an arbitrary time limit on studying: for every 15 minutes of study, I'd allow myself an hour of daydreaming. I set the alarm.
Once people are not here physically, the spiritual remains. We still connect, we can communicate, we can give and receive love and forgiveness. There is love after someone dies.
I liked the books I read that said things like 'I shan't'. I would try to find a way to say in my life, to reply, 'I shan't do that, mother.' That was so far away from my barrio world.
I have to understand what my strengths and limitations are, and work from a true place. I try to do this as best I can while still protecting my writer self, which more than ever needs privacy.
I'm afraid I'm still trying to find that balance. Especially now that everyone wants a piece of me. I find that I have to become more and more reclusive, and pick and choose when I am public and when I am private.
Revenge only engenders violence, not clarity and true peace. I think liberation must come from within.
I've always read broadly: literary fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, chick lit, historical, dystopian, nonfiction, memoir. I've even read Westerns. I prefer female protagonists.
I wasn't aware that 'House on Mango Street' was so influenced by Spanish until after I finished.
In English, my name means hope. In Spanish, it means too many letters. It means sadness. It means waiting. It is like the number nine, a muddy color.
I think my family and closest friends are learning about my need to withdraw, and I am learning how to restore and store my energy to both serve the community to the best of my ability and to serve my writer's heart.
There are many Latino writers as talented as I am, but because we are published through small presses, our books don't count. We are still the illegal aliens of the literary world.
My father always defined my gender to my brothers. He'd say, 'This is your sister; you must take care of her.'
I think that Mexican-American kids live in a global world. It's not even bi-, it's multi-. You know, for those of us who grew up with different countries on our block, different nationalities, you know, we moved into multiple worlds.
I wanted to write something in a voice that was unique to who I was. And I wanted something that was accessible to the person who works at Dunkin Donuts or who drives a bus, someone who comes home with their feet hurting like my father, someone who's busy and has too many children, like my mother.
In the business world, I did fairly well, but wasn't happy. A bout of sciatica put me flat on my back. All I could do was read, listen to my mother's stories about the Sandovals, and daydream: a return to self. My writing career had begun.
I was raised in Chicago, so always used Latina. It's what my Father and brothers called ourselves, when we meant the entire Spanish-speaking community of Chicago.
In my youth, daydreaming nurtured me, provided a safe haven. I'd sleep for twelve hours and even when awake escape to the safe place in my mind.
Well, I'm Buddhist, Ray, and so part of my Buddhism has allowed me to look a little more deeply at people and the events in my life that created me. And I think a lot of that Buddhism comes out in the world view in this novel.
I feel comfortable in Spanish, I chat like a parrot, but I don't have the confidence in Spanish that I do in English.
I think people should read fairy tales, because we're hungry for a mythology that will speak to our fears.
I don't see any kind of mirror of power, male power, that is, as a form of liberation. I don't believe in an eye for an eye. I don't believe this is truly freedom.