“She speaks to all of us”: Sandra Cisneros visits Judson
Sandra Cisneros, award-winning author of The House on Mango Street, gave her first reading and book signing in Alabama on March 30 at Judson College.
“We were elated to have her,” said Dr. Billie Jean Young, Associate Professor of Fine and Performing Arts at Judson. Young and Cisneros met through the MacArthur Fellows program and had been working toward Cisneros’s visit for several years.
Cisneros’s work largely explores working-class Latino life in America, but Young affirmed Cisneros’s hope that she would “be a bridge to unite communities”. “She speaks to all of us,” said Young. “She speaks and writes honestly and without guile, of the triumphs and tribulations of being a girl, woman, child–of being human–and by so doing, race and class are largely obliterated.”
Cisneros’s numerous awards include NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction, the Texas Medal of the Arts, a MacArthur Fellowship, and several honorary doctorates and book awards nationally and internationally. Recently Cisneros received Chicago’s Fifth Star Award, 2015 and the PEN Center’s 2016 Award in non-fiction for A House of My Own. In 2016 Cisneros received National Medal of the Arts, awarded to her by President Barack Obama.
During Thursday’s presentation in Alumnae Auditorium, Cisneros read “The Family of Little Feet” from her 1984 coming-of-age novel The House on Mango Street and the essay “A Borrowed House” from her 2015 memoir A House of My Own.
Cisneros answered other questions about her writing process, the transformative power of writing, the importance of supporting the arts, and how to read and write with grace and an open mind. “If we do work in the name of love and with love, it always comes out in the end,” she said.
The Judson presentation and book signing were sponsored by the College’s Concert-Lecture Series, Project Curiosity Critical Thinking Series, Departments of English and Drama, and the Office of Faith-Based Service and Learning.
For more information about Sandra Cisneros or her work, visit sandracisneros.com.