The House on Mango Street
It is a simple little book, only 110 pages long, but Sandra Cisneros has created a masterpiece. It is a series of vignettes, the story of Esperanza Cordero, a young girl growing up in the Latino section of Chicago. The writing is simple enough for a young reader, but deep enough for readers of all ages. One of my favorite chapters is titled "My Name."
In English my name means hope. In Spanish it means too many letters. It means sadness, it means waiting. It is like the number nine. A muddy color. It is the Mexican records my father plays on Sunday mornings when he is shaving, songs like sobbing.
It was my great-grandmother's name and now it is mine. She was a horse woman too, born like me in the Chinese year of the horse -- which is supposed to be bad luck if you're born female ...