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Cisneros, Sandra

novel latino mexican poet

(US, 1954– )

The daughter of a Mexican father and Mexican-American mother, Cisneros has worked as a teacher to high school dropouts, a poet-in-schools, a college recruiter and an arts administrator. She is a novelist, short-story writer, poet, and essayist. Her novel, The House on Mango Street (1984), is told in a series of vignettes. It depicts the coming-of-age of a young Latino girl growing up in inner-city Chicago, who dreams of a life beyond her neighbourhood. The novel is driven by character rather than plot, and is marked by moments of extraordinary poignancy and eloquence. These are conveyed in prose that is precise and deceptively simple, making it a good introduction to adult fiction for young adolescents, particularly girls. Cisneros's collection of short stories, Woman Hollering Creek (1991), also focuses on the experiences of young girls and women in Latino communities in America.

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