Sandra Cisneros to Receive National Medal of Arts

click to enlarge Sandra Cisneros to Receive National Medal of Arts
Photo courtesy of Alan Goldfarb
It's not very often that a chicana author, especially one who lived and worked in San Antonio, receives recognition from the president. But next Thursday, Sandra Cisneros will be able to add that to her growing list of accomplishments. 

For her contributions to American literature in the 20th and 21st centuries, and her exploration of issues surrounding race and class that are so deeply prevalent in the United States, Cisneros will receive a 2015 National Medal of Arts, presented by, you guessed it, President Barack Obama. 

The chicana author, who's catalog includes The House on Mango Street, Caramelo and Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories, is recognized as a prominent literary figure whose work has identified and exhibited life from the perspective of the "other" in America today. Widely recognized as her most famous work, The House on Mango Street, a coming-of-age story centered around the experiences of a Mexican-American girl in Chicago, shined a light on isolation in a multi-cultural context and provided a story that so many Americans can identify with.

Of Cisneros, the National Endowment of the Arts said:
Through her novels, short stories, and poetry, she explores issues of race, class, and gender through the lives of ordinary people straddling multiple cultures. As an educator, she has deepened our understanding of American identity.

Cisneros is one of 12 recipients who will be awarded with the National Medal of the Arts, including San Antonio musician Santiago Jiménez, Jr. 

The House on Mango Street is currently being performed at The Classic Theater through Sept. 25. Cisneros, who we recently had the chance to talk with, gave the José Rubén De León-directed stage version of Mango Street two thumbs up.