We all have felt other

“Writing in a younger voice allowed me to name the thing without a name,” explained Sandra Cisneros in the introduction to the 10th anniversary edition of her book The House on Mango Street. The book is the story of a young girl growing up in the Latino section of Chicago.

The thing without a name was “the shame of being poor, of being female, of being not quite good enough,” Cisneros writes. Once that shame was named, Cisneros could “examine where it had come from and why; so, I could exchange shame for celebration.

“Once I could name it, I ceased being ashamed and silent. I could speak up and celebrate my otherness as a woman, as a working-class person, as an American of Mexican descent.”

And, Cisneros concludes, “At one time or another, we all have felt other.”

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