The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame announced that the Mexican-American writer Sandra Cisneros was presented with the Fuller Award on Saturday, March 13, in recognition of her career as a writer, poet, and novelist. The award ceremony was held via Zoom, and co-sponsored by the American Writers Museum and the National Museum of Mexican Art.
In an interview for Atención San Miguel, Cisneros said, “I feel honored. I am grateful because I come from Chicago, a city that never treated me well.… It [Chicago] has treated me well as an author.”
For her, the pandemic has meant a time to “wake up” from her routine and appreciate the little things in life. “I feel happy at home. As I am a writer, it is normal for me to get away from the public,” she said.
From the start of her writing career, Sandra Cisneros fought against self-censorship. She saw herself as “a quiet, shy girl.” Through her writing she has been able to find a voice.
Sandra in San Miguel
After living eight years in San Miguel, Cisneros commented that she does not feel like she lives in Mexico. “I do not live in Mexico; I live in an international town. As Cantinflas said, ‘I can’t go to San Miguel, I don’t speak English.’”
International Women’s Day
Cisneros supports the feminist movement from a distance. She mentioned feeling admiration for the demonstrations in Mexico City. However, she has not participated in the marches due to a fear of big cities. She said that she would be interested in participating in local events, but only if she is invited.
Sandra’s Chicano connection
Although Cisneros currently lives outside the United States, she keeps in touch with her Chicano friends, whom she calls alebrijes (folk art sculptures of fantastical figures) because “we are flying around all parts of the world. I have my alebrijes in Texas, California and Chicago,” she adds.
She says that she feels attracted to social movements, especially those that advocate for the rights of migrants. She points out that in recent years, these protests have been supported not only by “race,” but by all Americans who support social causes. “In the last (protest) I saw only gringos. There were fathers and mothers with strollers who could not bear that a father or mother should be separated from their children. It moved me a lot,” she said.
Cisneros and spirituality
In her latest book of essays, “A House of My Own: Stories from My Life,” Cisneros describes how she wants to end her life. The author says that she would like her remains to be buried in the Botanical Garden under a maguey, as she would like to be a maguey. And, she would like the song “Disco Inferno” from Saturday Night Fever to be played.
She says that spirituality brings her a lot of security. She mentioned having spiritual experiences that have guided her throughout her life. In fact, one of them brought her to San Miguel de Allende.
Cisneros will participate in an event organized by Amistad Canada and Patronato Pro Niños, which will raise money to help people in local communities with medical and dental costs.
A new translation of her novel “The House on Mango Street,” by journalist Fernanda Melchor, will be published in January 2022.