Monday, May 14, 2012

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

I guess most people read The House on Mango Street in high school, but I did not pick it up until a trip to Nashville a couple of months ago. I had brought along a thrilling (read: dense and boring) book for one of my seminars and found that, unsurprisingly, it was more fun to read Cisneros. She gives the reader a chance to look at the world from the perspective of a Chicana girl. In the process, she writes about difficult topics while also managing to show that despite her narrator's desire to leave Mango Street, there is an element of beauty there. She can never really leave, no matter how much she may try.

The book got me thinking about living in Memphis. There are definitely problems to this city, but there is a certain beauty that is also unique to this place. I see it when I walk around my neighborhood at twilight and when I sit with friends on patios. It sneaks in the cracks on the sidewalks and the way people smile when you pass by. It is a place you can leave, but not without leaving a bit of yourself behind. I get the sense that my roots are here.

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