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A House of My Own

Stories from My Life

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Winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Creative Nonfiction

From Chicago to Mexico, the places Sandra Cisneros has lived have provided inspiration for her now-classic works of fiction and poetry. But a house of her own, a place where she could truly take root, has eluded her. In this jigsaw autobiography, made up of essays and images spanning three decades—and including never-before-published work—Cisneros has come home at last. Written with her trademark lyricism, in these signature pieces the acclaimed author ofThe House on Mango Street shares her transformative memories and reveals her artistic and intellectual influences. Poignant, honest, and deeply moving, A House of My Own is an exuberant celebration of a life lived to the fullest, from one of our most beloved writers.

“Dazzling . . . part artist statement, part declaration of independence.” —Los Angeles Times

“Delightful. . . . This memoir has the transcendent sweep of a full life. . . . [Cisneros’] prose reads like poetry, rhythmic and energetic; her poetry is as natural and effortless as plainspoken prose.” —Houston Chronicle

“[A] spirited collection. . . . [A House of My Own] puts a gifted storyteller at your fingertips, one who offers a panoply of life in apartments, rented rooms and borrowed houses, a journey with a curious, lively mind and reflections on cultures, families and traditions.” —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
 
“Resonant. . . . A complex, nuanced picture of the writer emerges—think of a mosaic, a collage.” —Chicago Tribune

“A fierce talent. No one writes like Cisneros. . . . A House of My Own is a compilation of true stories and non-fiction pieces that form a ‘jigsaw autobiography’ of the author’s life." —Jezebel

“An extraordinary and magical journey. Sandra Cisneros makes me so happy that I am a reader, so joyful that she is a writer, and even more exhilarated that she is part of our world. Read this book and laugh, cry, and rejoice!" —Edwidge Danticat

“Cisneros is right there in the room, fiercely candid, warm and gracious, talking about everything. . . . A literary salon steeped in storytelling and writers, [A House of My Own] honors her process and influences and draws attention to crucial and difficult points of her development. Like a manifesto, it reasserts Cisneros’s artistic credo." —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“In a tone that is intimate and inviting—indeed, we feel we are sitting right next to [Cisneros] as she sips tea (or chugs tequila) at her home in Mexico, and recounts her adventures with a laugh and a shake of the head: Ay Dios mio." —Los Angeles Review of Books

“[Cisneros] has documented her life through a mélange of essay, poetry, and battle cry." —Oprah.com

“Cisneros . . . has here written what may well be the best memoir of the year thus far. . . . A fierce portrait of an artist and her quest, and the roads taken and not taken to find a home of her own." —Library Journal (starred review)

“[Cisneros] opens wide the doors to the house of her life, and we are all privileged to cross the threshold." —The Austin Chronicle

“Throughout each story, though written for a diverse smattering of purposes and people, is Cisneros’s constant molding of words like clay. . . . [Her] words will make existing fans love her more, and drive new readers to reach for her previous works after closing this one." —The Washington Times

“Cisneros’s earnest but casual voice resonates throughout, rich with humor and a sense of urgency." —Pasatiempo (Santa Fe)

“Welcoming and deeply gratifying." —NBC News

“Gorgeous." —The Rumpus

“Frank, accessible examinations of multiple subjects braided together in Cisneros’s personable, self-examining style." —Albuquerque Journal
© Keith Dannemiller
SANDRA CISNEROS is a poet, short story writer, novelist, essayist, performer, and artist. Her numerous awards include NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction, a MacArthur Fellowship, national and international book awards, including the PEN America Literary Award, and the National Medal of Arts. More recently, she received the Ford Foundation's Art of Change Fellowship, was recognized with the Fuller Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature, and won the PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature. In addition to her writing, Cisneros has fostered the careers of many aspiring and emerging writers through two nonprofits she founded: the Macondo Foundation and the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation. As a single woman she made the choice to have books instead of children. A citizen of both the United States and Mexico, Cisneros currently lives in San Miguel de Allende and makes her living by her pen. View titles by Sandra Cisneros
“Dazzling . . . part artist statement, part declaration of independence.” —Los Angeles Times

“Delightful. . . . This memoir has the transcendent sweep of a full life. . . . [Cisneros’] prose reads like poetry, rhythmic and energetic; her poetry is as natural and effortless as plainspoken prose.” —Houston Chronicle

“[A] spirited collection. . . . [A House of My Own] puts a gifted storyteller at your fingertips, one who offers a panoply of life in apartments, rented rooms and borrowed houses, a journey with a curious, lively mind and reflections on cultures, families and traditions.” —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
 
“Resonant. . . . A complex, nuanced picture of the writer emerges—think of a mosaic, a collage.” —Chicago Tribune

“A fierce talent. No one writes like Cisneros. . . . A House of My Own is a compilation of true stories and non-fiction pieces that form a ‘jigsaw autobiography’ of the author’s life." —Jezebel

“An extraordinary and magical journey. Sandra Cisneros makes me so happy that I am a reader, so joyful that she is a writer, and even more exhilarated that she is part of our world. Read this book and laugh, cry, and rejoice!" —Edwidge Danticat

“Cisneros is right there in the room, fiercely candid, warm and gracious, talking about everything. . . . A literary salon steeped in storytelling and writers, [A House of My Own] honors her process and influences and draws attention to crucial and difficult points of her development. Like a manifesto, it reasserts Cisneros’s artistic credo." —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“In a tone that is intimate and inviting—indeed, we feel we are sitting right next to [Cisneros] as she sips tea (or chugs tequila) at her home in Mexico, and recounts her adventures with a laugh and a shake of the head: Ay Dios mio." —Los Angeles Review of Books

“[Cisneros] has documented her life through a mélange of essay, poetry, and battle cry." —Oprah.com

“Cisneros . . . has here written what may well be the best memoir of the year thus far. . . . A fierce portrait of an artist and her quest, and the roads taken and not taken to find a home of her own." —Library Journal (starred review)

“[Cisneros] opens wide the doors to the house of her life, and we are all privileged to cross the threshold." —The Austin Chronicle

“Throughout each story, though written for a diverse smattering of purposes and people, is Cisneros’s constant molding of words like clay. . . . [Her] words will make existing fans love her more, and drive new readers to reach for her previous works after closing this one." —The Washington Times

“Cisneros’s earnest but casual voice resonates throughout, rich with humor and a sense of urgency." —Pasatiempo (Santa Fe)

“Welcoming and deeply gratifying." —NBC News

“Gorgeous." —The Rumpus

“Frank, accessible examinations of multiple subjects braided together in Cisneros’s personable, self-examining style." —Albuquerque Journal

About

Winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Creative Nonfiction

From Chicago to Mexico, the places Sandra Cisneros has lived have provided inspiration for her now-classic works of fiction and poetry. But a house of her own, a place where she could truly take root, has eluded her. In this jigsaw autobiography, made up of essays and images spanning three decades—and including never-before-published work—Cisneros has come home at last. Written with her trademark lyricism, in these signature pieces the acclaimed author ofThe House on Mango Street shares her transformative memories and reveals her artistic and intellectual influences. Poignant, honest, and deeply moving, A House of My Own is an exuberant celebration of a life lived to the fullest, from one of our most beloved writers.

“Dazzling . . . part artist statement, part declaration of independence.” —Los Angeles Times

“Delightful. . . . This memoir has the transcendent sweep of a full life. . . . [Cisneros’] prose reads like poetry, rhythmic and energetic; her poetry is as natural and effortless as plainspoken prose.” —Houston Chronicle

“[A] spirited collection. . . . [A House of My Own] puts a gifted storyteller at your fingertips, one who offers a panoply of life in apartments, rented rooms and borrowed houses, a journey with a curious, lively mind and reflections on cultures, families and traditions.” —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
 
“Resonant. . . . A complex, nuanced picture of the writer emerges—think of a mosaic, a collage.” —Chicago Tribune

“A fierce talent. No one writes like Cisneros. . . . A House of My Own is a compilation of true stories and non-fiction pieces that form a ‘jigsaw autobiography’ of the author’s life." —Jezebel

“An extraordinary and magical journey. Sandra Cisneros makes me so happy that I am a reader, so joyful that she is a writer, and even more exhilarated that she is part of our world. Read this book and laugh, cry, and rejoice!" —Edwidge Danticat

“Cisneros is right there in the room, fiercely candid, warm and gracious, talking about everything. . . . A literary salon steeped in storytelling and writers, [A House of My Own] honors her process and influences and draws attention to crucial and difficult points of her development. Like a manifesto, it reasserts Cisneros’s artistic credo." —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“In a tone that is intimate and inviting—indeed, we feel we are sitting right next to [Cisneros] as she sips tea (or chugs tequila) at her home in Mexico, and recounts her adventures with a laugh and a shake of the head: Ay Dios mio." —Los Angeles Review of Books

“[Cisneros] has documented her life through a mélange of essay, poetry, and battle cry." —Oprah.com

“Cisneros . . . has here written what may well be the best memoir of the year thus far. . . . A fierce portrait of an artist and her quest, and the roads taken and not taken to find a home of her own." —Library Journal (starred review)

“[Cisneros] opens wide the doors to the house of her life, and we are all privileged to cross the threshold." —The Austin Chronicle

“Throughout each story, though written for a diverse smattering of purposes and people, is Cisneros’s constant molding of words like clay. . . . [Her] words will make existing fans love her more, and drive new readers to reach for her previous works after closing this one." —The Washington Times

“Cisneros’s earnest but casual voice resonates throughout, rich with humor and a sense of urgency." —Pasatiempo (Santa Fe)

“Welcoming and deeply gratifying." —NBC News

“Gorgeous." —The Rumpus

“Frank, accessible examinations of multiple subjects braided together in Cisneros’s personable, self-examining style." —Albuquerque Journal

Author

© Keith Dannemiller
SANDRA CISNEROS is a poet, short story writer, novelist, essayist, performer, and artist. Her numerous awards include NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction, a MacArthur Fellowship, national and international book awards, including the PEN America Literary Award, and the National Medal of Arts. More recently, she received the Ford Foundation's Art of Change Fellowship, was recognized with the Fuller Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature, and won the PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature. In addition to her writing, Cisneros has fostered the careers of many aspiring and emerging writers through two nonprofits she founded: the Macondo Foundation and the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation. As a single woman she made the choice to have books instead of children. A citizen of both the United States and Mexico, Cisneros currently lives in San Miguel de Allende and makes her living by her pen. View titles by Sandra Cisneros

Praise

“Dazzling . . . part artist statement, part declaration of independence.” —Los Angeles Times

“Delightful. . . . This memoir has the transcendent sweep of a full life. . . . [Cisneros’] prose reads like poetry, rhythmic and energetic; her poetry is as natural and effortless as plainspoken prose.” —Houston Chronicle

“[A] spirited collection. . . . [A House of My Own] puts a gifted storyteller at your fingertips, one who offers a panoply of life in apartments, rented rooms and borrowed houses, a journey with a curious, lively mind and reflections on cultures, families and traditions.” —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
 
“Resonant. . . . A complex, nuanced picture of the writer emerges—think of a mosaic, a collage.” —Chicago Tribune

“A fierce talent. No one writes like Cisneros. . . . A House of My Own is a compilation of true stories and non-fiction pieces that form a ‘jigsaw autobiography’ of the author’s life." —Jezebel

“An extraordinary and magical journey. Sandra Cisneros makes me so happy that I am a reader, so joyful that she is a writer, and even more exhilarated that she is part of our world. Read this book and laugh, cry, and rejoice!" —Edwidge Danticat

“Cisneros is right there in the room, fiercely candid, warm and gracious, talking about everything. . . . A literary salon steeped in storytelling and writers, [A House of My Own] honors her process and influences and draws attention to crucial and difficult points of her development. Like a manifesto, it reasserts Cisneros’s artistic credo." —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“In a tone that is intimate and inviting—indeed, we feel we are sitting right next to [Cisneros] as she sips tea (or chugs tequila) at her home in Mexico, and recounts her adventures with a laugh and a shake of the head: Ay Dios mio." —Los Angeles Review of Books

“[Cisneros] has documented her life through a mélange of essay, poetry, and battle cry." —Oprah.com

“Cisneros . . . has here written what may well be the best memoir of the year thus far. . . . A fierce portrait of an artist and her quest, and the roads taken and not taken to find a home of her own." —Library Journal (starred review)

“[Cisneros] opens wide the doors to the house of her life, and we are all privileged to cross the threshold." —The Austin Chronicle

“Throughout each story, though written for a diverse smattering of purposes and people, is Cisneros’s constant molding of words like clay. . . . [Her] words will make existing fans love her more, and drive new readers to reach for her previous works after closing this one." —The Washington Times

“Cisneros’s earnest but casual voice resonates throughout, rich with humor and a sense of urgency." —Pasatiempo (Santa Fe)

“Welcoming and deeply gratifying." —NBC News

“Gorgeous." —The Rumpus

“Frank, accessible examinations of multiple subjects braided together in Cisneros’s personable, self-examining style." —Albuquerque Journal

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