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The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

The House on Mango Street (1984)

by Sandra Cisneros

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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7,200172771 (3.62)176



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English (168)  Spanish (2)  All languages (170)
Showing 1-5 of 168 (next | show all)
Just not my cup of tea. Short stories that wanted to be poetry but didn't quite succeed as either. Also, awfully depressing. ( )
  AliceAnna | Dec 15, 2018 |
Way back in the spring of 2009, The House on Mango Street was the choice for One Book, One Chicago. OBOC is a program of the Chicago Public Library that believes it would be the coolest thing ever if all the readers in Chicago were reading the same book at the same time. And in truth, that would be cool. Alas, I am a foot-dragger, and it's taken me nearly 10 years to get around to reading this amazing book.

As a native Chicagoan, my very first thought was, "Where the heck is Mango Street?" But while the address Cisnero uses is made up, the house does exist. (I'll let you find it for yourself as I did.) It had to. It was too real to be wholly fictional, as are the characters we meet in this collection of... well, not exactly short stories, but rather something between vignettes and short stories, something vivid and incisive, cutting to the heart of what it was to live in Cisnero's home, her neighborhood, her family, her head. In each chapter she shines a light on a piece of her life, each a puzzle piece that when taken together give us a view of life for Esperanza Cordero.

Predictably there are joys and sorrows, and moments of humor. One of the arcs that remains the most telling for me is the story of Sally, whose father beats her savagely when he catches her talking to a boy. Sally who then begins to sneak off to be with the local boys, and who Esperanza wants to save from what she perceives as their sexual violence. Sally who tells Esperanza to go home, Sally who marries young, exchanging one prison for another, prettier one. But Esperanza's story is more hopeful. She wants to be a writer, and that's what she becomes, escaping the fate of so many of the other girls in her neighborhood.

I raced through this book, captivated by the stories, the spare, beautiful prose that makes some of the chapters read like poems, and I was left wanting more, not just of Esperanza and her family and friends, but of Cisnero's window on the world. I wish I hadn't taken so long to discover her. ( )
  Tracy_Rowan | Aug 16, 2018 |
This book is more a collection of vignettes than a novella, it segues from one character to another without giving time for anyone to make a true impression. Sadly, I felt I would forget these stories almost as quickly as I had read them and that I would be left with just a general feeling of what the book was about rather than something specific to hold on to.

There is a sense of people reaching for a better life, but also the idea that all lives count, that these people are living just as varied and meaningful an existence as the people in the larger houses that our child narrator so admires. I liked that in the end, she wants to escape, but she is thinking of how she can return to bring others out with her. I think she might, in her later years, learn to remember Mango Street with a sweetness that will be unexpected. She claims it is not, but it is home.
( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
Cisneros writes this book with a perfect balance between the child who is discovering her world for the first time and the growing woman who can make sense of what she's seeing. In doing so, she invites us into her shoes without judging us for having lived outside of them. Deceptively simple, there is a great deal going on under the surface in these portraits of characters who are at once both intimate and distant. This is a uniquely poetic book. ( )
  quaintlittlehead | Mar 31, 2018 |
Loved this book. ( )
  l.mcd | Feb 7, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 168 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sandra Cisnerosprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gonzalez, NiviaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A las Mujeres
(To the Women)
First words
We didn't alway live on Mango Street.
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Disambiguation notice
Please do not combine the Bloom's Guide with the novel.
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
[R.L. 4.5]
Told in a series of vibrant vignettes, this is the story of Esperanza Cordera, a girl growing up in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago, in a neighborhood that is neither pretty nor easy. Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, this is a moving story of a young girl attempting to rise above the hopelessness around her.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679734775, Paperback)

Acclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero.

Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous – it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:08 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

For Esperanza, a young girl growing up in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago, life is an endless landscape of concrete and run-down tenements, and she tries to rise above the hopelessness.

» see all 11 descriptions

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