Sunday, November 15, 2015

¡Vemos Sandra Cisneros!

     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 SalonImagine 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.


  1. As always, I am super jealous of your opportunity to see all these great writers in person...and the opportunity to take photos of them, even if on the sly. Very nice photos from the event.

    What am I reading today? Right now, as usual, others' Sunday Salon and book bloggish posts. Later, maybe a book, I'm not sure what.

  2. Sounds like a great night even with getting lost. I live out in the country and rarely get a chance to see an author.

  3. Oh, I am definitely envious! I love author events, and we have so few here in California's Central Valley. The closest things happen in SF or LA....

    But once, a long time ago, Gloria Steinem came to my university when I was an undergraduate student in Sacramento, a city which I why am I still here? LOL.

    I can relate to that glow that takes the place of headlights.

    Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

  4. Sandra Cisneros is such an interesting lady! I have my 6th grade students read some of her work throughout the year. They really connect to her story "Eleven." I even let them listen to a clip of her at a reading that takes us through the first page or so and listen to a short interview with her. I didn't know she'd moved to Mexico, but I think I agree with what she said. I did a lot of Latin American and South American studies, and it just seems like a totally different world than the US.

  5. We have a local independent bookstore that offers author events throughout the year - and I always try to attend whenever possible. Yes, this is my tribe as well :)

  6. Sounds like a great event. I love getting the chance to go hear authors read.

  7. Oh good for you! She's a wonderful author and I'd be interested in her memoir. It sounds fascinating!

  8. Oh, such a lovely post Deb and I SO know what you mean about your 'tribe'. I've been to a few author events lately and found them really inspiring. I'm not sure I ever will write a book but I think passionate readers and writers share that love of words and ideas.

  9. Wonderful. Thank you for sharing. I attended an author event this week, too.

  10. Your tribe ... oh yes I feel that too. Your post made me smile :)

  11. I wish we had more author events here in Kent Ohio. It seems no one wants to come here. :-( Oh well I can live author events through bloggers such as you. :-)

  12. What an interesting post! I wish we had events like this around here.

  13. Oh my, it sounds like a wonderful evening and worth getting lost for the buzz it gave. She sounds really interesting, although that word hardly defines it I would think.

  14. Oh what a lovely write-up about Sandra Cisneros and your experience - I haven't read any of her novels yet, but your feature here has definitely intrigued me! :)

  15. Arghh traffic! But I'm glad you had a great time!

  16. We never have good author events.

    Looks like a good one.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Silver's Reviews
    My It's Monday, What Are You Reading


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