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An Evening with Sandra Cisneros

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Amistad Canada presents An Evening with Sandra Cisneros, a benefit for Jovenes Adelante, Friday, February 3, at 5 p.m., at the Bellas Artes Auditorium, Hernandez Macias 75. Cisneros, who won the US National Medal of Arts last year, will read a chapter from her latest book, A House of My Own. Liliana Valenzuela will read the same chapter in Spanish.

Cisneros is a poet, short story writer, novelist, and essayist, whose work explores the lives of the working-class. Her numerous awards include the US National Endowment for the Arts fellowships in both poetry and fiction, the Texas Medal of the Arts, a MacArthur Fellowship, several honorary doctorates, and numerous national and international awards.

Cisneros was awarded the National Medal of Arts for enriching the American narrative through exploration of the issues of race, class, and gender through the lives of ordinary people straddling multiple cultures.  President Obama said, “As an educator, she has deepened understanding of the American identity,” and for this Cisneros received a 2016 PEN Center USA Literary Award for creative nonfiction.

A House of My Own is a collection of essays, articles and vignettes about Cisneros’ life between 1984 and 2014. The book documents both her insecurities and triumphs. The author never leaves behind her experiences in a Chicago immigrant family. Even after achieving financial success and purchasing a home in San Miguel, Cisneros continues to see the world through the eyes of people without privilege.

Cisneros was born the only daughter in a family of seven children. Her father struggled to make ends meet working as an upholsterer while her mother found solace in music, museums and libraries, where she took Sandra as a child. Cisneros’ works describe a Latino experience with a mix of realism and lyrical exuberance.

US President Barak Obama bestows the National Medal of Arts on San Miguel Resident Author Sandra Cisneros in 2016.

Cisneros took a path different from traditional Mexican-American women as she neither married nor had children. Much of this book is about the challenges she faced in breaking the mold, carving out physical and spiritual space where she could write and think. Her journey was not linear. She travelled and lived in Greece, Chiapas, France, the former Yugoslavia, France and California before finally settling in San Antonio. Texas, for 20 years.

Cisneros’ stories have been praised for their precision and musicality of language, and have been translated into more than a dozen languages, including Spanish, Galician, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Norwegian, Japanese, Chinese, Turkish, Greek, Iranian, Thai, and Serbo-Croatian.

Her book The House on Mango Street has sold more than five million copies and is required reading in elementary, high school, and university curricula across the U.S.

Seating is limited. Sponsorships are being offered at $65 USD/person or $100 USD/couple, and convey VIP seating, a personally signed book, and recognition in the event program. General admission is being offered at $30 USD/person.  To reserve your seats, contact Angie Arguelles at [email protected].

Jovenes Adelante, which grants scholarships to local honors students who otherwise could not afford to attend university and break the cycles of historic economic disparity into which they were born. For more information, contact President Robin Loving at [email protected], 925 476 8117 (US) and/or 415 112 3412 (SMA and see JovenesAdelante.org.

  • What: Bilingual Reading from A House of My Own
  • Title: An Evening with Sandra Cisneros
  • Date, time: Friday, February 3, 2017, 5 p.m.
  • Where: Bellas Artes’ Second Floor Auditorium
  • Address: Hernandez Macias 75
  • Extra info: 415 112 3413
  • Cost: $30 – $100 USD, or equivalent

By Robin Loving

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