Caramelo Cisneros
2004 Shortlist

Caramelo

artwork-image

ABOUT
THE BOOK

The celebrated author of The House on Mango Street gives us an extraordinary new novel, told in language of blazing originality: a multigenerational story of a Mexican-American family whose voices create a dazzling weave of humour, passion, and poignancy – the very stuff of life.

Lala Reyes’ grandmother is descended from a family of renowned rebozo, or shawl, makers. The striped caramelo rebozo is the most beautiful of all, and the one that makes its way, like the family history it has come to represent, into Lala’s possession. The novel opens with the Reyes’ annual car trip – a caravan overflowing with children, laughter, and quarrels – from Chicago to “the other side”: Mexico City. It is there each year, that Lala hears her family’s stories, separating the truth from the “healthy lies” that have ricocheted from one generation to the next. We travel from the Mexico City that was the “Paris of the New World” to the music-filled streets of Chicago at the dawn of the Roaring Twenties – and, finally, to Lala’s own difficult adolescence in the not-quite-promised land of San Antonio, Texas.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Sandra
Cisneros

I was born in Chicago in 1954, the third child and only daughter in a family of seven children. I studied at Loyola University of Chicago (B.A. English, 1976) and the University of Iowa (M.F.A. Creative Writing, 1978).

I’ve worked as a teacher and counselor to high-school dropouts, as an artist-in-the-schools where I taught creative writing at every level except first grade and pre-school, a college recruiter, an arts administrator, and as a visiting writer at a number of universities including the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

My books include a chapbook of poetry, Bad Boys (Mango Press, 1980); two full-length poetry books, My Wicked Wicked Ways (Third Woman Press, 1987; Random House, 1992) and Loose Woman (Alfred A. Knopf, 1994); a collection of stories, Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories (Random House, 1991); a children’s book, Hairs/Pelitos (Alfred A. Knopf, 1994); the novels The House on Mango Street (Vintage, 1991) and Caramelo (Knopf, 2002), and the picture book Have You Seen Marie? (Knopf 2012). A House of My Own: Stories from My Life (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015) is a collection of personal essays, and Puro Amor (Sarabande 2018) is a bilingual story that I also illustrated. Forthcoming works include the Spanish and English story Martita, I Remember You/Martita te recuerdo (Vintage 2021) and a poetry collection, Mujer Sin Vergüenza (2022).

I was born in Chicago in 1954, the third child and only daughter in a family of seven children. I studied at Loyola University of Chicago (B.A. English, 1976) and the University of Iowa (M.F.A. Creative Writing, 1978).

I’ve worked as a teacher and counselor to high-school dropouts, as an artist-in-the-schools where I taught creative writing at every level except first grade and pre-school, a college recruiter, an arts administrator, and as a visiting writer at a number of universities including the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

My books include a chapbook of poetry, Bad Boys (Mango Press, 1980); two full-length poetry books, My Wicked Wicked Ways (Third Woman Press, 1987; Random House, 1992) and Loose Woman (Alfred A. Knopf, 1994); a collection of stories, Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories (Random House, 1991); a children’s book, Hairs/Pelitos (Alfred A. Knopf, 1994); the novels The House on Mango Street (Vintage, 1991) and Caramelo (Knopf, 2002), and the picture book Have You Seen Marie? (Knopf 2012). A House of My Own: Stories from My Life (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015) is a collection of personal essays, and Puro Amor (Sarabande 2018) is a bilingual story that I also illustrated. Forthcoming works include the Spanish and English story Martita, I Remember You/Martita te recuerdo (Vintage 2021) and a poetry collection, Mujer Sin Vergüenza (2022).

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
24/09/2002
Country
United States
Original Language
English
Publisher
Alfred A. Knopf

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