Our April Pick: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Our pick for April is The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. The book won the Before Columbus Foundation's American Book Award in 1985 and has sold over five million copies to date. Cisneros is a Chicago-born writer who is a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico. She has received numerous literary and cultural honours and grants, including the American Book Award. Her work is inspired by her experience as a Chicana woman and life growing up in the Humboldt Park neighbourhood on Chicago's West Side. Her writing explores poverty, Chicana culture and identity identity, and the difficulty of straddling two cultures. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a MFA in Creative Writing, Cisneros returned to Chicago and began teaching high school dropouts at the Latino Youth Alternative High School. In September 2016, President Barack Obama presented her with the National Medal of Arts.

Follow her on her website and on Facebook.

From Goodreads

Acclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero. 

Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous – it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers.

Discussion: 

Instead of questions, pick your favourite vignette or short chapter to discuss. You can read it aloud, come up with discussion questions for it, or just talk about it (or all of the above). Pick one to three; we'll do one each, and more if there's time. 

Have you read it? We'd love to hear from you! Let us know what you think in the comments below.

TOFemCo Book Club
TOFemCo Book Club 14 members
TOFemCo [tee-oh-fem-co], also known as Toronto Feminist Collective, is a group of women and non-binary identified people who are passionate about intersectional feminism. We are rooted in the heart of Toronto. TOFemCo first began in spring 2015 as a book club where feminists who like to read could discuss a variety of books using a feminist lens and a sense of humour. Since then, we have grown into a community that supports each other, shares communal meals at monthly potlucks, plans social gatherings for Toronto feminists, and attends community and activist events. Members of TOFemCo are the hosts of the podcast Underwire: Support for the Girls. In our book club, we read a variety of books by a diverse group of authors. We strive to be a trans-inclusive, queer-positive, anti-racist and anti-oppressive space for all feminists who are interested in good reads, good conversations and good laughs. We do not shy away from controversial issues or debates, as long as the conversation is respectful of others.

Books we've read

Milk and Honey
Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth
The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait
The Complete Persepolis
The House on Mango Street
The House of the Spirits
Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
My Brilliant Friend
The Round House


View this group on Goodreads »