Sunday, 19 February 2017
The House on Mango Street - Sandra Cisneros
Enchanting! That's how I must describe this tiny little gem. Sandra Cisneros is a Latino/Hispanic? American. This is not an ethnic group in the UK like it is in the USA, but I find an empathy whenever I come across a writer from this group - even though my own ethnic background is certainly chilly Northern European. This is a very short book. Only 110 pages. And it isn't a book of short stories, just a set of what I'd describe as musings, and the publisher calls "vignettes".
These musing are a sort of stream-of consciousness from the mind of a child, (but this is not a children's book) describing things she finds, feels or experiences on the way to puberty. Living in the house on Mango Street, she wants more - but how to describe what you dream of when you are only a child? From singing games to the disappointment of not having shoes that match a party dress; and to playing in an empty garden where there are a couple of abandoned cars, and nature is taking over; these are things I recall too, and my childhood was spent on the other side of the Atlantic - and at a different time, too.
These small glimpses into another world are like the best poetry, they are not poems, just little jewels made with a pen and paper. I cannot believe that for my entire reading career I have never come across Cisneros before - but this is not the last of hers that will pop through my letter box. If you are like me, and the name means nothing, perhaps you should seek her out too. I think you might enjoy her!