I'm a bad cook, but this is a good analogy

From a Houston Chronicle interview with Sandra Cisneros, author of the incomparable House on Mango Street:

Q: While your books are not directly autobiographical, you often take and remake people and incidents from your own life. Correct?

A: Yes, but I mix it up with people not myself. Sometimes I’ll take my story and mix it with a cousin or students. I feel like I’m this artist who uses whatever is at hand. It’s kind of like cooking with whatever is in the pantry. I don’t know any other way.

Like this:


The joy of imperfection


Weird… but okay


  1. Hmm, sounds like you’re a chef for 20sw. And can I say I love The House on Mango Street.

    • Angie’s recent blog post: Resabios de Amargura or That Bitter Cabaret

  2. Ha, “by the seat of my pants” is my favorite way to cook AND write.

    • Todd Newton’s recent blog post: The Ninth Avatar is coming

  3. I LOVE that novel. I just got done teaching it to my tenth graders. Such rich rich language. It’s a good thing that you can’t get fat off of reading Cisneros, because her words are like creamy pasta and tarts and then chapters that are as crisp and fresh as an apple.

    Ah, that’s good stuff.

    • D’Arcy’s recent blog post: Washing Feet

  4. I think I need to re-read it, honestly, because I remember loving it, but I don’t remember anything else about it, lol.

  5. RTW

    One of my favorites… saw it on display in a bookstore this weekend, with a 25th anniversary edition out! Can you believe it? I saw Cisneros speak when I was an undergrad and was completely in awe of her approachability and poise.

    Love this analogy. :-)

    • RTW’s recent blog post: (Re)Invention Roadmap

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