Since we’re in the middle of Women’s History Month, I wanted to blog about one of my favorite Chicana (Mexican-American) writers, Sandra Cisneros. Sandra Cisneros is a fellow Texan from San Antonio. One of my favorite Sandra Cisneros books is Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories. Woman Hollering Creek is a compilation of short stories about Chicana and Mexican women. The women face a variety of everyday dilemmas. I took a Chicano Literature class at New Mexico State. I was required to read this book in the class.
My favorite story is about Ixchel, the main character in “One Holy Night.” Ixchel is a 13-year-old Mexican girl who lives in Chicago with her uncle and grandmother. She works with her uncle selling produce on weekends. While she’s at work, she meets Chato, a 37-year-old serial killer. Chato eventually seduces her and makes her believe he’s ancient Mayan royalty. After he seduces her, he leaves her with a broken heart. Although she’s hurt when Chato abandons her, I’m glad her life isn’t completely over. Because of her age and naivety, I think he eventually feels sorry for Ixchel and abandons her, instead of killing her.
Ixchel reminds me a lot of my younger self. When it came to dating at a young age, I was naive like her. I’d fall for any line a guy told me, especially if he was complimenting my looks. Most of the time, I’d end up hurt with a broken heart. I think this is why this particular story stands out for me. Several, if not all of Cisneros’ stories have a coming of age theme. The Chicana women in her stories usually want to make better lives for themselves. Coming of age is a common theme in Chicana literature.
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