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I am a woman and I am a Latina Those are the things that make my writing distinctive Those are the things that give my writing power They are the things that give it sabor the things that give it picante1 Sandra Cisneros was born on December 20 1954 in Chicago Illinois to her Mexican father Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Chicana mother Elvira Cordero Anguiano and six brothers Growing up for Cisneros was hard because of both her father and her brothers Her family constantly moved back and forth between Mexico City and Chicago because of her fathers longing for his home country and because that was where his mother lived Cisneros explains Because we moved so much and always in neighborhoods that appeared like France after World War IIempty lots and burned-out-buildingsI retreated inside myself2 And Cisneross brothers expected her to take on the role of the traditional female causing her to feel like she often had seven fathers During this time of loneliness Cisneros turned to herself and books for company She began to read many books and write poetry hoping to find a doorway out of her families poverty Cisneros checked out a book from the library named The Little House over and over again The house in the story was her dream house because it was one house for one family being permanent and stable Cisneros did not really start writing until high school where she was the literary magazine editor and in college where she took her first creative writing class in 1974 at Loyola University Cisneros received her BA from Loyola University in 1976 and her MFA from the University of Iowa During a Writers workshop in 1978 at Iowa Cisneros really began to understand how unique and different her experiences as a Latina woman were from the prevailing American culture She decided to write using her experiences as motivation and a foundation for her stories and poetry
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