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    Stories from the “Hem of Life”: Contesting Marginality in Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street and Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye


    Leen, Catherine (2011) Stories from the “Hem of Life”: Contesting Marginality in Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street and Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. In: Critical Insights: The House on Mango Street. Salem Press. ISBN 9781587657177

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    Abstract

    With the publication of the twenty-fifth anniversary editions of The House on Mango Street in 2009 and The Bluest Eye in 1993, Sandra Cisneros and Toni Morrison both wrote essays for the new editions in which they look back on their first novels. Cisneros recalls that, as a twenty-three-year-old aspiring writer, her aim was to “write stories that ignore borders between genres, between written and spoken, between highbrow literature and children’s nursery rhymes, between New York and the imaginary village of Macondo, between the U.S. and Mexico” (xvi-xvii). Cisneros refers to a Mexican and Pan-Latin American heritage as the inspiration for her work, although her main intent was to communicate her experience as a Mexican American woman growing up in Chicago through language that transcends literary conventions and political borders. Similarly, in her essay, Morrison discusses her attempts to portray her distinct culture through her writing, commenting on her bid to articulate her meditation on internalized racism by means of a narrative that both reached and represented her community. Morrison notes that her use of a distinctive language “as well as my attempt to shape a silence while breaking it are attempts to transfigure the complexity and wealth of Black-American culture into a language worthy of the culture” (172).

    Item Type: Book Section
    Keywords: Stories from the “Hem of Life”: Contesting Marginality; Sandra Cisneros; The House on Mango Street; Toni Morrison; The Bluest Eye;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy > School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures > Spanish
    Item ID: 10271
    Depositing User: Catherine Leen
    Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2018 12:27
    Publisher: Salem Press
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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