Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Sandra Cisneros  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Poetry

Audience: Adult; Young Adult; Children;

Born: December 20, 1954 in Chicago, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Cisneros was born in Chicago and attended and graduated from Loyola University of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Sandra Cisneros is a Latina author and poet best known for her novel ''The House on Mango Street''. She is also the author of ''Caramelo'', ''Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories'', ''My Wicked Wicked Ways'' and a collection of poems titled, ''Loose Woman''. Her books and poetry have been translated into over a dozen languages. Much of her writing is influenced by her Mexican heritage. She has also contributed to many periodicals. Cisneros currently resides in Mexico.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Bad Boys

Mango Publications. 1980

Her first book. Published by Lorna Dee Cervantes and Gary Soto as number 8 in the Chicano Chapbook Series.

The House on Mango Street
ISBN: 0679734775

Vintage. 1991

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.

My Wicked Wicked Ways: Poems
ISBN: 0679418210

Knopf. 1992

Hailed as "not only a gifted writer, but an absolutely essential one" (The New York Times Book Review), Sandra Cisneros has firmly established herself as an author of electrifying talent. Here are verses, comic and sad, radiantly pure and plainspoken, that reveal why her stories have been praised for their precision and musicality of language.

Woman Hollering Creek: And Other Stories
ISBN: 0679738568

Vintage. 1992

A collection of stories, whose characters give voice to the vibrant and varied life on both sides of the Mexican border. The women in these stories offer tales of pure discovery, filled with moments of infinite and intimate wisdom.

ISBN: 0679890076

Dragonfly Books. 1997

This jewel-like vignette from Sandra Cisneros's best-selling The House on Mango Street shows, through simple, intimate portraits, the diversity among us.

A Dragonfly Book in English and Spanish.

A Parenting Magazine Best Children's Book of the Year

Un excelente constructor de vocabulario, con nombres de objetos en Inglés y en Español, acompañados por ilustraciones, agrupados por tópicos como colores, juguetes, animales y herramientas.

Loose Woman: Poems
ISBN: 0679755276

Vintage. 1995

A candid, sexy and wonderfully mood-strewn collection of poetry that celebrates the female aspects of love, from the reflective to the overtly erotic. "Poignant, sexy. . . lyrical, passionate. . . cool and delicate. . . hot as a chili pepper."--Boston Globe.

ISBN: 0679435549

Knopf. 2002

The celebrated author of The House on Mango Street gives us an extraordinary new novel, told in language of blazing originality: a multigenerational story of a Mexican-American family whose voices create a dazzling weave of humor, passion, and poignancy—the very stuff of life.

Lala Reyes’ grandmother is descended from a family of renowned rebozo, or shawl, makers. The striped caramelo rebozo is the most beautiful of all, and the one that makes its way, like the family history it has come to represent, into Lala’s possession. The novel opens with the Reyes’ annual car trip—a caravan overflowing with children, laughter, and quarrels—from Chicago to “the other side”: Mexico City. It is there, each year, that Lala hears her family’s stories, separating the truth from the “healthy lies” that have ricocheted from one generation to the next. We travel from the Mexico City that was the “Paris of the New World” to the music-filled streets of Chicago at the dawn of the Roaring Twenties—and, finally, to Lala’s own difficult adolescence in the not-quite-promised land of San Antonio, Texas.

Caramelo is a romantic tale of homelands, sometimes real, sometimes imagined. Vivid, funny, intimate, historical, it is a brilliant work destined to become a classic: a major new novel from one of our country’s most beloved storytellers.

Vintage Cisneros
ISBN: 1400034051

Vintage. 2004

Vintage Readers are a perfect introduction to some of the great modern writers presented in attractive, accessible paperback editions.

“Sandra Cisneros knows both that the heart can be broken and that it can rise and soar like a bird. Whatever story she chooses to tell, we should be listening for a long time to come.” —The Washington Post Book World

A winner of the PEN Center West Award for Best Fiction and the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, Sandra Cisneros evokes working-class Latino experience with an irresistible mix of realism and lyrical exuberance.

Vintage Cisneros features an excerpt from her bestselling novel The House on Mango Street, which has become a favorite in school classrooms across the country. Also included are a chapter from her new novel, Caramelo a generous selection of poems from My Wicked Wicked Ways and Loose Woman and seven stories from her award-winning collection Woman Hollering Creek.

Have You Seen Marie?
ISBN: 0307597946

Alfred A. Knopf. 2012

The internationally acclaimed author of The House on Mango Street gives us a deeply moving tale of loss, grief, and healing: a lyrically told, richly illustrated fable for grown-ups about a woman’s search for a cat who goes missing in the wake of her mother’s death.

The word “orphan” might not seem to apply to a fifty-three-year-old woman. Yet this is exactly how Sandra feels as she finds herself motherless, alone like “a glove left behind at the bus station.” What just might save her is her search for someone else gone missing: Marie, the black-and-white cat of her friend, Roz, who ran off the day they arrived from Tacoma. As Sandra and Roz scour the streets of San Antonio, posting flyers and asking everywhere, “Have you seen Marie?” the pursuit of this one small creature takes on unexpected urgency and meaning. With full-color illustrations that bring this transformative quest to vivid life, Have You Seen Marie? showcases a beloved author’s storytelling magic, in a tale that reminds us how love, even when it goes astray, does not stay lost forever.

A House of My Own: Stories from My Life
ISBN: 038535133X

Knopf. 2015

From the author of The House on Mango Street, a richly illustrated compilation of true stories and nonfiction pieces that, taken together, form a jigsaw autobiography—an intimate album of a beloved literary legend.

From the Chicago neighborhoods where she grew up and set her groundbreaking The House on Mango Street to her abode in Mexico in a region where “my ancestors lived for centuries,” the places Sandra Cisneros has lived have provided inspiration for her now-classic works of fiction and poetry. But a house of her own, where she could truly take root, has eluded her. With this collection—spanning three decades, and including never-before-published work—Cisneros has come home at last.

Ranging from the private (her parents’ loving and tempestuous marriage) to the political (a rallying cry for one woman’s liberty in Sarajevo) to the literary (a tribute to Marguerite Duras), and written with her trademark lyricism, these signature pieces recall transformative memories as well as reveal her defining artistic and intellectual influences. Poignant, honest, deeply moving, this is an exuberant celebration of a life in writing lived to the fullest.


The House on Mango Street

  • American Book Award, Columbus Foundation, 1985
  • Caramelo

  • Notable book of the Year, The New York Times
  • Notable book of the Year, Los Angeles Times
  • Notable book of the Year, San Francisco Chronicle
  • Notable book of the Year, Chicago Tribune
  • Notable book of the Year, Seattle Times
  • Premio Napoli Award, 2005
  • Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories

  • PEN Center West Award for Best Fiction, l99l
  • Quality Paperback Book Club New Voices Award
  • Anisfield-Wolf Book Award
  • Lannan Foundation Literary Award
  • Noteworthy Book of the Year, The New York Times
  • Noteworthy Book of the Year, American Library Journal
  • Loose Woman

  • Mountains & Plains Booksellers' Award
  • Body of Work

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    Please contact Sandra through her agent

    Susan Bergholz Literary Services 17 West 10th Street # 5 New York, New York 10011 212-387-0545