A House of My Own: Stories from My Life

10 CDs. 11:45 hrs. Books on Tape. 2015. ISBN 9780399564574. $40. digital download. LIT
Cisneros's Chicago upbringing provided the background for her award-winning 1984 novel The House on Mango Street. This memoir comprises essays and the transcripts of speeches written over 35 years. The pieces are like the rooms in a house—each can be considered by itself, but they are connected by doorways and hallways, furnished with the events and people from particular times. Cisneros writes about the places she has lived, including Chicago, Iowa, Massachusetts, Greece, Bosnia, San Antonio, and ultimately Mexico City, where she now lives in the titular house of her own. Cisneros lovingly describes her Mexican-born father and American-born mother, who protect her, their only daughter, and who are eventually proud of her literary accomplishments. She talks of Mexican American culture, women's roles, and the often-lonely life of a writer. She narrates the audio edition herself; her pacing and pitch are ideal. Unfortunately, the photos in the print edition are unavailable.
VERDICT Highly recommended for public, high school, and academic libraries. ["Cisneros blends family stories from Chicago and Mexico with lively storytelling, rich details, and good humor": LJ 9/1/15 starred review of the Knopf hc.]
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