Sandra Cisneros' latest, A House of My Own (Knopf), is a candid memoir woven from prose, photographs, and essays. In our conversation, she takes us through the years, including her time in Iowa, where, as a new writer, she attempted to find her voice, but found instead that she was imitating her patriarchal, male teachers whose "big man clothes" were not the right fit. It was not until she discovered an international writer's workshop that she felt welcome and opened up to her own self as a writer and storyteller. She harbors a strong notion that everyone is like a walking book, whereby telling your story through any creation -- poem, hip-hop, song, an altar – helps you defeat death and transform painful memories into powerful moments. Now in her sixties, Cisneros continues to feel entranced by the same things that captivated her in her youth, trees, sunshine, nature – the physical world.
Photo: Alex Pieros