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.

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