Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.


A Universal Connection

A Universal Connection

More From Sandra

In this video

Tagged as

Cisneros explains why people from so many cultures seem to connect to "The House on Mango Street."

Sandra's Biography

Role Model: The Buddhist monk and writer Thich Nhat Hanh
First Paying Job: Cleaning the rectory at her church.
Favorite Children’s Author: Hans Christian Anderson
Favorite Advice: “Sorrow is an opportunity for spiritual growth.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Sandra Cisneros is a Mexican-American novelist, poet, and short story writer. Her books include The House on Mango Street, Caramelo, and Woman Hollering Creek. She is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as a Macarthur “Genius” Grant.
Cisneros was born in Chicago in 1954, the only girl among seven siblings. The family shuttled between Chicago and Mexico City before finally settling in the area of Chicago known as Humbolt Park, a neighborhood that would later provide inspirations for The House on Mango Street.
Cisneros began writing as a teenager, serving as the editor of her high school’s literary magazine. She went on to study English literature at Loyola University in Chicago before earning her Master or Fine Arts at the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop.
In addition to her novels, books of poetry and short stories, Cisneros has also taught writing at nearly every level from grade school to graduate school. She has also been a visiting writer at several universities including the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
The first female Mexican-American writer to have her work published by a mainstream publisher, Cisneros has seen her books translated worldwide and The House on Mango Street remains required reading in middle schools, high schools, and universities across the country.

Related Videos

Nancy Lublin
Nancy Lublin
Social Entrepreneur

With a $5,000 inheritance, Nancy Lublin has been able to change countless lives. In 1995, she founded Dress for Success, a non-profit organization that promotes the economic indepe...

Kelly Clark
Kelly Clark
Olympic Snowboarder

Kelly Clark is a two-time Olympic medalist. She won the gold in 2002 and the bronze in 2010. A trailblazer in women's snowboarding, Clark has upped the game for her sport, push...

Genevieve S. Brown
Genevieve S. Brown
Urban Revitalization Pioneer

Genevieve S. Brown has been called “one of the architects of the New Bronx.” She was a driving force behind the urban revitalization that helped rescue the borough from...

Katie Couric
Katie Couric
Network News Pioneer

Katie Couric is an award-winning journalist and TV personality whose time in the storied anchor chair of the "CBS Evening News" made her the first woman to serve as sole ...