Radikal Readings: A House of My Own

I count my sophomore year of high school as a turning point in my life. Although I didn’t realize it until much later, it was that year in Ms. Padilla’s English class that I discovered just how much writing meant to me. Hers was the first English class I took that taught from books on the techniques and love of writing. I was hooked without knowing it. Of course she also had us read novels, one of which was Sandra Cisneros’ infamous The House on Mango Street. I loved it instantly, so it’s a wonder why it has taken me this long to pick up another one of Cisneros’ works.

A House of My Own: Stories from My Life is a newly released memoir in essay form which is full of personal stories about family, travelogues, political issues, and nonfiction pieces from Cisneros’ life as a writer and woman journeying solo. The jacket describes it as: With this collection–spanning nearly three decades, and including never-before-published work–Cisneros has come home at last.

I savored every page of this very heavy book – seriously, it’s glossy pages complete with personal pictures are so heavy that it was hard to carry on public transportation. Each chapter chronicles Sandra’s life and development as a writer struggling to find her “home.” Her writing style is so beautiful that I caught myself stopping at times to admire the way she composed sentences, wishing I could to the same. It’s comes as no surprise though, as her with her novels, her writing style has an element of lyrical magic in it.

I can’t believe it’s taken me fifteen years to read a second piece of work by Sandra Cisneros, but this time I’m sure there will not be as long of a gap. What a special writer.

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