Told in a series of vignettes stunning for their eloquence, The House on Mango Street is Sandra Cisneros's greatly admired novel of a young girl growing up in the Latino section of Chicago. Acclaimed by critics, beloved by children, their parents and grandparents, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, it has entered the canon of coming-of-age classics.
Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous, The House on Mango Street tells the story of Esperanza Cordero, whose neighborhood is one of harsh realities and harsh beauty. Esperanza doesn't want to belong — not to her rundown neighborhood, and not to the low expectations the world has for her. Esperanza's story is that of a young girl coming into her power, and inventing for herself what she will become.
Sandra Cisneros draws on her own experience as a Hispanic woman writer facing obstacles in a patriarchal community resistant to change. Published in 1984 to instantaneous acclaim, the book is made up of lyrical passages, interconnected vignettes, and meditations and observations that resemble prose poems. Cisneros's structurally and thematically bold work explores the often violent coming of age of a young Mexican-American woman.