The Chicago Public Library’s Spring 2009 selection for One Book, One Chicago is The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. In 1982, Cisneros received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. She used the fellowship to travel to Europe and write about her childhood. She developed the book seemingly accidentally as a series of vignettes, “Fifty pages had been written but I still didn’t think of it as a novel. It was just a jar of buttons.” Poetry and narrative blend in the collection of little stories to create a vibrant picture of a rootless sense of home.
The back jacket cover reads:
Acclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught everywhere from 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 heart-breaking, 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.
2009 marks the 25th anniversary of the publication of The House on Mango Street.