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Texas Matters: Sandra Cisneros Searches For Home


Houses have figured prominently in the writing career of Sandra Cisneros. Her first book and breakthrough publication was the 1984 “House on Mango Street.” The coming of age novel put Cisneros on the map of American writers but Cisneros herself was still looking for her place on the map of the world.

She’s originally from Chicago and at the time of Mango Street’s publication Cisneros had just moved to San Antonio. That’s where she’d eventually buy her home in the historic King William neighborhood that backed up to the San Antonio River. That house became an object of curiosity when it was reported she painted it purple and upset the neighbors – actually the color was closer to indigo violet. Cisneros filled that house with art, friends and her many dogs but the attention of tourists, the burden of running a foundation and a sometimes unwelcoming atmosphere in San Antonio caused her to look for her next place on the map.

Cisneros writes about her journey in her new book “A House of My Own: Stories from My Life.” It’s a collection of essays, lectures, letters and more to present an autobiographical arc of her finding her place. She currently lives in Mexico.

Texas Public Radio’s Yvette Benavides spoke with Cisneros about "A House of My Own."

Benavides is a San Antonio writer and a professor of English and creative writing at Our Lady of the Lake University.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi