Her inspiration was the lack of Latino representation in the arts.
Last week, Chicana author Sandra Cisneros was named as one of the recipients for this year’s National Medal of Arts, one of the highest awards an artist, writer and/or musician can get. The author of “The House On Mango Street,” one of the most significant words of Latino literature, was chosen by President barack Obama for “explor[ing] issues of race, class and gender through the lives of ordinary people straddling multiple cultures.” Cisneros was one of three Latinos who received the honorable distinction; accordionist and conjunto god Santiago Jimenez, Jr. (brother of Flaco Jimenez), and Chicano playwright/writer/director Luis Valdez were also honored by President Obama.
To celebrate the author of “The House Of Mango Street,” required reading in pretty much every middle school or high school, here’s a video of Cisneros talking about why she wrote the book in the first place. In short, while at the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Cisneros became painfully aware that stories like hers — and ours — were not being told.
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