The new novel is an expired letter to a friend

Newyork: Her new book, Martina, I remember you, “Sandra Cisneros feels like she’s finally answered a long delinquent letter.

The author of The House, the best-selling mango street, is back with his first fiction work in almost a decade, the story of memory and friendship, as well as the experience young women endure as immigrants around the world.

Inspired by Cisneros’ own time in Paris as a young and ambitious writer, Martina is Chicago to pursue literary dreams in the city of Ernest Hemingway, James Baldwin and many others. I’m chasing Corina, a woman in her twenties who has left her Mexican family. During her short time there, she finds herself suffering from money, making friends with a bread-handling artist, and sleeping on a crowded floor with other immigrants.

Supporting her through it are the broken Argentines and Italians Martinta and Paola, as she did.

Over the years, the three spread across different continents, eventually losing contact, and Corina finds a series of old letters in her drawers, recalling the intense memories of the time.

It started from a place in my own memory. The real Martina that inspired this story is the real Martinas. Cisneros said in a recent interview with the Associated Press via Zoom from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, that they are the ones who don’t always have what gives the most.

So what started as a real story about what happened to me went elsewhere, she continued.

Martita, I Remember You (Vintage Original) was published last week as a bilingual paperback featuring Cisneros’ English story in the foreground and, inside out, the Spanish translation of Liliana Valenzuelas, Martita and terecuerdo.

Born to Mexican parents in Chicago, Cisneros is one of the most prominent Latin writers in the United States, including the 1985 National Book Award for Mango Street House, the PEN / Nabokov International Literary Award, and the 2015 National Medal of Arts. is. art.

Cisneros began writing stories about Martina in the late 80’s and early 90’s, with the idea of ​​including it in the award-winning collection “Woman Horror Ring Creek.” More than that.

In the last few years she pulled it out again, adding middle and end.

Cisneros said with a laugh, I think they needed to get old so I could write that part. Don’t you know how old I was in my thirties? Yes. I was too young to write the ending! Corina is about 36 years old … I’m not as smart as Corina. To see it, the author had to grow old to get a long view.

This book brings us back to the pre-era of email and cell phones, where people exchange physical addresses to stay in touch. It was an uplifting feeling to receive a letter from a distance. Collina reads and rereads what she got.

In fact, the first letter is based on the real letter that arrived at me after I left. Years later … and then came the real letter that caused the feeling that I didn’t have a name, Cisneros said.

This whole story is my letter that I never sent back to her, or to all the Martinas who made me friends when I was floating in the world. I felt I had to write this unsent letter to understand what happened to the very random and short (relationship) people I met while traveling. “

Although she published a book in France in the 1980s, Cisneros, whose work has always been immigrant-themed, wants people to be involved in today’s story.

She says it is still very relevant to all countries, especially the United States, to be a citizen of a country that is ashamed to live in this era, separates children from parents, and treats refugees worse. He added that he knew. That animal. So I hope this book will help awaken people and make a difference.

“I absolutely believe that art can make a difference because it has made a big difference in my life.

Cisneros recalled the generosity of strangers when he lived abroad, saying, “What does it look like for immigrants who are now coming to the United States and looking down on the way Parisians are being accused and looking down? It helped me to understand. We…. I’m glad I lived that experience because I understood my father and the situation of immigrants in a way that I might not have understood now.

What would she say to her if she could hear a reply from Martina?

Oh! I am very happy! Where are you, Martina? I’m coming! What’s wrong? I want to see Martina again. I forgot her name, I don’t know where she is, but she is the one who caused these stories from many women connected, Cisneros said.

She is currently completing a poetry book to be published in English and Spanish next fall: Shameless Woman / Mujer sinvergenza. She is not only working on the script for the Mango Street House opera with New York composer Derek Bermel, but also on piloting a television series based on that book.


Follow Sigal Ratner-Arias on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sigalratner.

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The new novel is an expired letter to a friend

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