Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

It's odd how books get selected for The Bookclub. We decided to have a month for Latin American writers and Savage Detectives was suggested, to be paired with Ficciones by Jorge Lois Borge.  A month before the said month, after attempting to read Savage Detectives for over a year I was told it was too hard a read, especially paired with the Borges. Actually with so much to read I didn't get past the Introduction of the Borges myself!
Another Bookclub member vaguely remembered a book with a Mango Street in the title last year when the forthcoming Booklist was being discussed (turns out it was The Mango Season she was thinking of) and I remembered that I had found the above in my Book Exchange Program.  It is really a YA (Young Adult) book, but a quick and thoughtful read - so a good contrast to the magic realism of  Borges. The blurb at the back describes it as 'Told in a series of vibrant vignettes' and as I read it I remembered a friend's blog- Passing Perspectives. The bitter-sweet experiences of emigrants to the US trying to move up the social ladder after being on the bottom rung. There are some good observations, like the writer yearning to leave both the street and the house saying "They will not know I have gone away to come back. For the ones I left behind. For the ones who cannot out." Not unlike the Guyanese emigrant impression, except they are usually appalled at the drop in Standards on their return.
I resonated with 'I am the one nobody comes for. ... Her power is her own.She will not give it away'
Having said all the above, I am sorry that the grammar and punctuation leave a lot to be desired and while it is good to encourage the young to read, surely better editing would help their English skills without detracting anything from the stories?

No comments:

Post a Comment