It's hard to drive into Houston after a long day at work, knowing you won't get home until a couple of hours past your usual old-lady bedtime. I struggled. Should I or shouldn't I? Last time, I got stuck in traffic that added an extra hour to my normal hour long drive.
But it was Sandra Cisneros this time and that clenched it. Yes. Sí.
Different venue this time. I can find Rice University, I thought pompously. Right. So this time I got stuck in traffic and lost.
But it was worth it. I promise that I will remind myself of the wonderfulness of this Sandra Cisneros reading when I hesitate about going to an author event. I felt like I didn't need headlights when I was traveling home; I was glowing.
Cisneros started by reading a chapter from her new memoir, A House of My Own. She's originally from Chicago, where my first daughter-in-law and her huge Mexican-American family has roots, and Cisneros later settled in San Antonio, so she has the Mexican-Texan connection with my second daughter-in-law, too.
After the reading, Cisneros was interviewed by University of Houston Creative Writing faculty member Chitra Divakaruni. Divakaruni asked the questions; Cisneros answered around them.
In her memoir, Cisneros spends time "poking under the bed with a broom." She tells the audience, "My family suffers from stories no one dares to tell." Cisneros relates the story of the arrival of the Census form in her household. "What are we?" she asks her boyfriend. "We don't agree with being classified as Hispanic." She checks off Other. But that doesn't end it. She has to choose an Other and settles on Indigenous. Of course that's not enough either. "What tribe are we?" she asks.
"Writing is the one country where you can say anything," she shares.
Cisneros now lives in Mexico. She moved there after what she calls a spiritual epiphany when she was visiting in San Miguel. "Spirits speak to you in Mexico in a way they can't talk to you here. Maybe they can't cross the border."
"There should be a whole theater of Chicano writers," Cisneros says. "Why am I the only one?"
I loved the advice she offered to people who want to write. "Give yourself a long runway of time," she says. "Imagine you are writing what can never be published. Then write."
I left the Sandra Cisneros event happy. Why am I so happy? I asked myself. Then it came to me: these readers, these writers...these are my tribe.
What are you reading today?!
What is the Sunday Salon? Imagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.
The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.
Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week.
It is now being hosted here.
Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between! This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.