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Five years after receiving her MFA, she returned to Loyola University-Chicago, where she had previously earned a BA in English, to work as an administrative assistant.Prior to this job, she worked in the Chicano barrio in Chicago, teaching high school dropouts at Latino Youth High School.Cisneros's biographer Robin Ganz writes that she acknowledges her mother's family name came from a very humble background, tracing its roots back to Guanajuato, Mexico, while her father's was much more "admirable".
Sandra Cisneros (born December 20, 1954) is an American writer.
She is best known for her first novel The House on Mango Street (1983) and her subsequent short story collection Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories (1991).
In 1978, after finishing her MFA degree, she taught former high-school dropouts at the Latino Youth High School in Chicago.
The 1984 publication of The House on Mango Street secured her a succession of writer-in-residence posts at universities in the United States, teaching creative writing at institutions such as the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Michigan.
Cisneros's early life provided many experiences she would later draw on as a writer: she grew up as the only daughter in a family of six brothers, which often made her feel isolated, and the constant migration of her family between Mexico and the United States instilled in her the sense of "always straddling two countries ...
but not belonging to either culture." Cisneros's work deals with the formation of Chicana identity, exploring the challenges of being caught between Mexican and Anglo-American cultures, facing the misogynist attitudes present in both these cultures, and experiencing poverty.For high school, Cisneros attended Josephinum Academy, a small Catholic all-girls school.Here she found an ally in a high-school teacher who helped her to write poems about the Vietnam War.That's when I decided I would write about something my classmates could write better than me." She conformed to American literary canons and adopted a writing style that was purposely opposite that of her classmates, realizing that instead of being something to be ashamed of, her own cultural environment was a source of inspiration.From then on, she would write of her "neighbors, the people [she] saw, the poverty that the women had gone through."So to me it began there, and that's when I intentionally started writing about all the things in my culture that were different from them—the poems that are these city voices—the first part of Wicked Wicked ways—and the stories in House on Mango Street.Through these jobs, she gained more experience with the problems of young Latino Americans.In addition to being an author and poet, Cisneros has held various academic and teaching positions.Her work experiments with literary forms and investigates emerging subject positions, which Cisneros herself attributes to growing up in a context of cultural hybridity and economic inequality that endowed her with unique stories to tell.She is the recipient of numerous awards including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, was awarded one of 25 new Ford Foundation Art of Change fellowships in 2017, and is regarded as a key figure in Chicana literature.Her paternal grandfather was a veteran of the Mexican Revolution, and he used what money he had saved to give her father, Alfredo Cisneros de Moral, the opportunity to go to college.However, after failing classes due to what Cisneros called his "lack of interest" in studying, Alfredo ran away to the United States to escape his father's anger.