A House of My Own: Stories from My Life by Sandra Cisneros
“A house. A writing machine. …[And her] animals” are the “home” Sandra Cisneros needs to “feel like writing.” The MacArthur “Genius”-author of The House on Mango Street – one of those celebrated pivotal titles readers never forget – offers the “stories from my life [that] span from 1984 to 2014,” grounded by actual addresses she’s called her own, from Chicago to a Greek island to her longest address in San Antonio: “The memories I present here are a way of claiming my real life and differentiating it from my fiction.”
These almost-four dozen chapters – some previously published and “tinkered with for unity” – reveal her most intimate relationships, her artist-as-a-young-woman metamorphoses, her humor, and, of course, her brilliance.
Master storyteller and daydreaming poet that she is, Cisneros interlocks the far-flung pieces of her many lives as daughter, sister, friend, lover, student, teacher, writer, to create a multi-layered mosaic of her first 60-some years. Magnificently designed and dense with memorable photographs as the printed version of this memoir undoubtedly is, if a choice proves necessary, go aural: Cisneros as her own narrator draws listeners in as if she is revealing her very best secrets. For dedicated readers, that shared intimacy proves profound.