The Best Sandra Cisneros quotes

Sandra Cisneros quotes thumbnail

I am a student of life, I have been studying it for over eighty-six years and I still try to discover every day. – Sandra Cisneros. This is the opening sentence of her famous novel Woman Hollering Creek. Her writing style is often described as visceral and emotional. She has written many novels including: The House on Mango Street (1984), Pigs in Heaven (1993) and Caramelo (2002). For those who are unfamiliar with her work, she provides an opportunity to read about the lives of people that too often go unnoticed within society; this includes children, women living in poverty or immigrants from other countries.

Here are the most inspiring phrases from Sandra Cisneros.

Discover the best Story, Writers, Books, Love, Writing, Life, Spanish, Reading quotes from Sandra Cisneros, and much more.


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About Sandra Cisneros

birth of the author

December 20, 1954

occupation of the author

Poet, Short Story Writer, Artist

college of the author

Alma Mater:
Loyola University Chicago

date of the author

C. 1980-Present

award of the author

Notable Works:
The House On Mango Street, Woman Hollering Creek And Other Stories

award of the author

Notable Awards:
American Book Award, Macarthur Genius Grant


You have to remember that writing itself is so solitary. You start writing because you’re lonely. — Sandra Cisneros

You know, we should have cards like the deaf have. ‘Can’t talk, I’m writing today. — Sandra Cisneros

When your writing is unselfconscious, when it comes from your heart, that’s when it’s powerful. — Sandra Cisneros

I began writing as an experimental writer. — Sandra Cisneros

you know we should have cards like the deaf have can t talk i m writing today Sandra Cisneros quote

Writing poetry helps me to write my fiction; each thing helps the other. — Sandra Cisneros

That’s what you need for your writing–to learn how to be present, learn how to be calm. So take that nap, do that meditation. — Sandra Cisneros

It’s difficult for me to have a large story, a very large story–a novel is a large story. I’m used to writing and doing these little miniature paintings. — Sandra Cisneros

That’s all you have to ask from yourself writing a book. That it’s the best you can do and that you did it without any ego involved and that you did it for somebody else. That’s the best you can do. — Sandra Cisneros

The comments you’ll get from a filmmaker about your performance are going to be very different. My writing workshop is about mixing it up, cross–pollinating, not only in genres but in occupations. — Sandra Cisneros

i began writing as an experimental writer Sandra Cisneros quote

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. — Sandra Cisneros

When I was writing Caramelo the last couple of years, a sixty–hour work week was normal. And now I’m lucky if I have eight hours. — Sandra Cisneros

Writing is like sewing together what I call these ‘buttons,’ these bits and pieces. — Sandra Cisneros


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Every book changes my writing because I’m always trying to do something I didn’t do before. I try to do what’s hard for me, what I haven’t done in the past. — Sandra Cisneros


When we started publishing, you had to be better than good. You had to be excellent. But as long as people are reading, I don’t care what they’re reading. — Sandra Cisneros

when i say what i m reading this is what i need i know the ills that plague me Sandra Cisneros quote

When I say what I’m reading, this is what I need. I know the ills that plague me. — Sandra Cisneros

I think of reading as like a medicine cabinet. — Sandra Cisneros

I’m learning a lot by reading teachers like Thich Nhat Hanh, Pema Chodron. They teach me because I feel like I have a responsibility to the communities that I speak to. — Sandra Cisneros

When I was very young I was reading a lot of Latin American fiction, which later would be called ‘boom fiction. — Sandra Cisneros

I was reading all these male writers who were doing wild and wonderful things. It gave me permission to experiment. — Sandra Cisneros

i think of reading as like a medicine cabinet Sandra Cisneros quote

I like to think about the bestseller list as, ‘This is the medicine cabinet of a very sick country.’ Let me look and see what they’re reading that isn’t nourishing them. — Sandra Cisneros

I was reading Carl Sandburg and Gwendolyn Brooks, and I’m still very, very deeply moved by Gwendolyn Brooks’s life and her work. — Sandra Cisneros

The more you speak more languages, the more you understand about yourself. — Sandra Cisneros

That’s why it’s important to be multilingual, because it teaches you so much about your own language. — Sandra Cisneros


We have all this courage as writers, but then there’s this fear. — Sandra Cisneros

we have all this courage as writers but then there s this fear Sandra Cisneros quote

I like to mix it up, because the kind of comments you can get from a fiction writer about your poetry are going to be very different than what you’ll get from a poet. — Sandra Cisneros

I hope I’m not just looked as a writer that is popular but as a writer of literary value. — Sandra Cisneros

For a writer, for the solitude to write, you don’t need a room of your own, you need a house. — Sandra Cisneros

I was looking at a lot of experimental writers, and I was very intrigued by short–short fiction, writers who would write little things, what I call buttons now, little vignettes. — Sandra Cisneros

The ability to be present with every single person and engage was a great model for me of the work that a writer needs to do. Writers, living or dead, still guide me in many ways. — Sandra Cisneros

I have to understand what my strengths and limitations are, and work from a true place. I try to do this as best I can while still protecting my writer self, which more than ever needs privacy. — Sandra Cisneros

I always tell people that I became a wrIter not because I went to school but because my mother took me to the lIbrary. I wanted to become a wrIter so I could see my name In the card catalog. — Sandra Cisneros

All of my works are performance pieces, as is true for many writers of color, writers who have indigenous roots–because our basis is spoken word. — Sandra Cisneros

Mexicans don’t think of ghosts as haunting you. — Sandra Cisneros


Even if you don’t believe in God, you have to believe in love. — Sandra Cisneros

even if you don t believe in god you have to believe in love Sandra Cisneros quote

I believe love is always eternal. Even if eternity is only five minutes. — Sandra Cisneros

Even if we don’t know if God exists, we can be certain love exists, because its power transcends death. — Sandra Cisneros

You don’t want somebody who doesn’t know his own heart, do you? You’ll find someone who’s brave enough to love you. Someday. One day. Not today. — Sandra Cisneros

The most powerful speaking you can do is the speaking that comes from your heart and your love. — Sandra Cisneros

You’re in love with my mind/But sometimes, sweetheart, a woman needs a man who loves her ass. — Sandra Cisneros

i believe love is always eternal even if eternity is only five minutes Sandra Cisneros quote

The thoughts of letting go of everything I love overwhelms like a tsunami of sorrow. — Sandra Cisneros

I wish somebody had told me love does not die, that we can continue to receive and give love after death. — Sandra Cisneros

Once people are not here physically, the spiritual remains. We still connect, we can communicate, we can give and receive love and forgiveness. There is love after someone dies. — Sandra Cisneros

The world we live in is a house on fire and the people we love are burning. — Sandra Cisneros


To tell you the truth, I think it’s about that we shouldn’t get our driver’s licenses till real late in life. — Sandra Cisneros

we women shouldn t get our driver s licenses till real late in life Sandra Cisneros quote

I try to be as honest about what I see and to speak rather than be silent, especially if it means I can save lives, or serve humanity. — Sandra Cisneros

Even if you’re an agnostic or an atheist, you can create an altar, because an altar is simply paying homage to someone’s life and celebrating what they did. — Sandra Cisneros

Everywhere I go, it’s me and me. Half of me living my life, the other half watching me live it. — Sandra Cisneros

Redundant Thematics

In Sandra Cisneros Statements


The border between the dead and the living, if you’re Mexican, doesn’t exist. The dead are part of your life. — Sandra Cisneros

We women shouldn’t get our driver’s licenses till real late in life. — Sandra Cisneros

If you’re poor, potato chips are the food of life for you. It’s the caviar. — Sandra Cisneros

My sky, my life, my eyes. Let me look at you. Before you open those eyes of yours. The days to come, the days gone by. Before we go back to what we’ll always be. — Sandra Cisneros

She looked out the window her whole life, the way so many women sit their sadness on an elbow. — Sandra Cisneros

Perhaps the greatest challenge has been trying to keep my time to myself and my private life private in order to do my job. Everything that is most mine belongs to everyone now. — Sandra Cisneros

I had no concept of this [healthy food] until very, very late in life, thanks to a trainer/nutritionist that I met who has been working with me since I was forty–five. — Sandra Cisneros

Some people need flowers, some people need dandelions. It’s medicine, it’s what you need at that time in your life. — Sandra Cisneros

I have to get my will in order. I have to get the Macondo Foundation going. I want to invest the money and resources that I’ve gotten from working so hard so that it’s shared and it has its life beyond me. — Sandra Cisneros

My feminism is humanism, with the weakest being those who I represent, and that includes many beings and life forms, including some men. — Sandra Cisneros

Marin, under the streetlight, dancing by herself, is singing the same song somewhere. I know. Is waiting for a car to stop, a star to fall, someone to change her life. — Cisneros Sandra


There’s a lot of people that need these stories, and they can’t come to my book, so I’m going to be the bookmobile and I’m going to come to them. — Sandra Cisneros

every book takes you to the terror that terrible place of possible failure Sandra Cisneros quote

Every book takes you to the terror, that terrible place of possible failure. — Sandra Cisneros

I know the books that I need to help me to be wiser than my years and be kinder and more compassionate and more patient than I really am. — Sandra Cisneros

I think that you need to have books that talk about the lives of the poor, and they need to be involved–involved in acquisitions. — Sandra Cisneros

Think about the books that you were reading at a certain crisis in your life, what you were reading, and that’s because you needed them to nourish your alma. — Sandra Cisneros

The beauty of literature is you allow readers to see things through other peoples eyes. All good books do this. — Sandra Cisneros

I don’t think I’ll write a large novel again because it was like being in jail for me. Even though that’s the funniest book I’ve ever written, it was the saddest period of my life. — Sandra Cisneros

Each book gets harder, each book gets harder and harder. I always feel like crying when I have to write. — Sandra Cisneros

My book would come out in one language, then it would come out in another language, then it would come out in One City, One Read, and I was always being called away from my desk. — Sandra Cisneros

There are many Latino writers as talented as I am, but because we are published through small presses, our books don’t count. We are still the illegal aliens of the literary world. — Sandra Cisneros

I thought that strange syntax was the language of story books. I didn’t realize those were poor translations… English from Edwardian times. — Sandra Cisneros

The TSA tears through your bags at the airport and the NSA watches what books you buy and what you say over the telephone and online. It doesn’t feel like anything is private anymore. — Sandra Cisneros

Books are medicine and you have to take the right medicine that you need at that moment or that day or that time in your life. — Sandra Cisneros

My friend, Dennis Mathis, was reading Eastern European and Japanese experimental writers, and I brought the Latin American writers to his attention, so we exchanged books and bounced off one another. — Sandra Cisneros

Those of us who are writers and have to perform to communities that aren’t used to coming to book events, I would recommend taking some theater. — Sandra Cisneros

I can’t do a linear novel. I’m just going to write what I need to write. — Sandra Cisneros

Everything that I write comes when it wants to, out of its own need and it dictates its form. I don’t say, ‘I am going to write a novel. — Sandra Cisneros


My Spanish is a daughter’s Spanish. I write, but my Spanish really is very limited. — Sandra Cisneros

I wasn’t aware that ‘House on Mango Street’ was so influenced by Spanish until after I finished. — Sandra Cisneros

In English, my name means hope. In Spanish, it means too many letters. It means sadness. It means waiting. It is like the number nine, a muddy color. — Sandra Cisneros

I was raised in Chicago, so always used Latina. It’s what my Father and brothers called ourselves, when we meant the entire Spanish–speaking community of Chicago. — Sandra Cisneros

my spanish is a daughter s spanish i write but my spanish really is very limited Sandra Cisneros quote

I find myself using Spanish words much more now that I’m older, and I guess I have the authority to do it in public spaces in ways that I felt I couldn’t when I was teaching here fifteen years ago. — Sandra Cisneros

We changed it to emocionó, the way you say in Spanish, ‘to emotion me’ [to be moved]. That, as opposed to ‘haunt.’ We wanted the feeling of sadness and grief and obsession, so we used emocionó. — Sandra Cisneros


The stories are what no one wants to talk about. So you make up a story because no one is going to tell you the truth. — Sandra Cisneros

One of my favorite writers is Hans Christian Anderson. His stories speak to the times. — Sandra Cisneros

What I’ve learned is, if I have to go out and speak, the best way to get people’s attention is to tell them a story, tell them a story that came from my corazón. — Sandra Cisneros

one of my favorite writers is hans christian anderson his stories speak to the times Sandra Cisneros quote

Jorge Luis Borges] had short stories, and I was trying to learn how to write short stories, and then he had these things in the middle that were like fables, and I loved hearing fables. — Sandra Cisneros

For me, a story’s a story if people want to hear it; it’s very much based on oral storytelling. And for me, a story is a story when people give me the privilege of listening when I’m speaking it out loud. — Sandra Cisneros

I remember when they started publishing Latino fiction years ago. You had to be really good to get published. Now you don’t have to be that good. — Sandra Cisneros

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