Award-winning novelist Sandra Cisneros comes to Fresno

FRESNO, Calif.

Cisneros, who has written extensively about the Latina experience in the United States and won the American Book Award for "The House on Mango Street," will participate in two free public events sponsored by the Fresno State Department of English.

"Sandra Cisneros in Conversation" begins at 2 p.m. at the Concert Hall in the Music Building. She and Alex Espinoza, an associate professor of English at Fresno State who teaches creative writing and is a novelist in his own right, will discuss her work and its impact in the literary world and in education.

At 7 p.m., Cisneros will read from her works at the Satellite Student Union, where her books will be available for purchase and signing.

Dr. Vida Samiian, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, said, "The presence of such a high-caliber author working with our students is an invaluable academic experience."

Cisneros, 58, recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of "The House on Mango Street," which is about a Latino girl coming of age in Chicago, where the author grew up as one of seven children and the only daughter in her family. Cisneros currently resides in San Antonio, Texas.

"'The House on Mango Street' is a staple in high schools and universities across the country," Espinoza said. "Sandra is a dedicated mentor and teacher of young writers, scholars and artist-activists for whom she provides support and guidance via both the Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation and the Macondo Foundation."

Her second novel, "Caramelo," was awarded the Premio Napoli. It also was nominated for the Orange Prize, which celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women's writing throughout the world, and for the IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award, considered the most valuable annual literary prize for English-language fiction.

She is the author of the short story collection "Woman Hollering Creek;" two books of poetry, "My Wicked Wicked Ways" and "Loose Woman;" and the children's books "Hairs/Pelitos" and the upcoming "Bravo, Bruno."

Public events in the community for Cisneros also are planned by Los MacArturos, a national group of Latino artists, academicians, educators and community leaders and MacArthur Foundation grant awardees.

Los MacArturos will meet with Cisneros for a reunion sponsored by Fresno's Radio Bilingüe (FM 91.5) and the Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indígena Oaxaqueño. Members of Los MacArturos who plan to attend include Hugo Morales of Radio Bilingüe, artist Amalia Mesa-Bains, performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña, anthropologist Ruth Behar, playwright John Jesurun and photographer Camilo José Vergara.

While in Fresno, Cisneros will also will participate in four Radio Bilingüe interviews broadcast live on the network's Linea Abierta national talk show at noon Feb. 2 and 3; 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4; from a free, public roundtable on the Latino school dropout crisis at the Chicano Youth Center (1515 E. Divisadero St.); and 11 a.m.-noon Feb. 5.

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