Sandra Cisneros’ new book, expired letter to friends

New York – In her new book, “Martita, I remember you,” Sandra Cisneros feels like she has finally answered a long delinquent letter.

The author of the best-selling novella “The House of Mango Street” is back with his first fiction work in almost a decade, the story of memory and friendship, as well as the experience young women endure as immigrants around the world.

Inspired by Cisneros’ own time in Paris as a young and ambitious writer, Martina left the Mexican family in Chicago in Ernest Hemingway, James Baldwin and many other inhabited cities. I am chasing Corina, a woman in her twenties who pursued a literary dream. I lived. During her short time there, she finds herself suffering from money, making friends with a bread-handling artist, and sleeping on a crowded floor with other immigrants.

Supporting her through it are the broken Argentines and Italians Martinta and Paola, as she did.

Over the years, the three spread across different continents, eventually losing contact, and Corina finds a series of old letters in her drawers, recalling the intense memories of the time.


“It started in a place of my own memory. The real Martina, the real Martinas, who influenced this story, met so many women in our lives and made friends with us. Well, I don’t have anything, Cisneros said in a recent interview with the Associated Press via Zoom from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

“So what started as a real story about what happened to me was’seinfló’-it went elsewhere,” she continued.

“Martita, I Remember You” (vintage original) was published last week as a bilingual paperback featuring the Spanish translation of Liliana Valenceela, “Martita, terecuerdo,” with the English story of Cisneros in the foreground.

Born to Mexican parents in Chicago, Cisneros is one of the most prominent Latin writers in the United States, including the 1985 National Book Award for Mango Street House, the PEN / Nabokov International Literary Award, and the 2015 National Book Award. I’m alone. Art medal.


She began writing stories about Martina in the late 80’s and early 90’s, considering her inclusion in the award-winning collection “Woman Horae Ring Creek.” But she wrote only the first part of the story, and there was also an editor. I felt there was more than that.

In the last few years she pulled it out again, adding middle and end.

“I think I had to get older to write that part,” said Cisneros with a laugh. “Don’t you know how old I was in my thirties? Yeah. I was too young to write the ending! Corina is about 36 years old … I’m not as smart as Corina. Get a long view. Because of that, the author had to get older to see it. “

This book brings us back to the pre-era of email and cell phones, where people exchange physical addresses to stay in touch. It was an uplifting feeling to receive a letter from a distance. Collina reads and rereads what she got.

“In fact, the first letter is based on a real letter that arrived at me after I left. Years later … and a real letter that caused me to feel like I had no name. Has come, “said Cisneros.


“This whole story is my letter that I never sent back to her, or to all the Martinas I made friends with when I was floating around the world. Very random I met while traveling. I felt I had to write this unsent letter to understand what happened to the short (relationship) people. “

Although she published a book in France in the 1980s, Cisneros, whose work has always been immigrant-themed, wants people to be involved in today’s story.

“It’s still very relevant to all countries, especially the United States,” she said, “I know I’m a citizen of a country that lives at this time and separates my children from my parents.” I’m ashamed of that. People treating refugees are worse than animals, so I hope this book will help awaken and make a difference.

“I absolutely believe that art can make a difference because it has made a big difference in my life.”


Cisneros recalled “the generosity of strangers” when he lived abroad and said, “It helped me understand how immigrants are now coming to the United States, being accused and looking down on the perspective of Parisians.” Told. I’m glad I lived that experience because I understood my dad and the situation of immigrants in a way that I might not have understood now. ”

What would she say to her if she could hear a reply from Martina?

“Oh! I’m very happy! I would say:’Martita, where are you? I’m going now! What’s wrong?’ I want to see Martina again. I forgot her name. Where is she?” I don’t know, but it was she who caused these stories from many of the women with whom she was connected, “said Cisneros.

She is currently completing a collection of poems “Shameless Women” / “Mujersin vergüenza” to be published in English and Spanish next fall. She is also working on a script for the “Mango Street House” opera with New York composer Derek Bermel and a pilot for a television series based on that book.



Follow Sigal Ratner-Arias on Twitter. https://twitter.com/sigalratner..

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Sandra Cisneros’ new book, expired letter to friends

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