Sandra Cisneros, the bestselling author of The House on Mango Street, returns to the literary scene with Martita, I Remember You/Martita, Te Recuerdo. A tribute to the life-changing power of youthful friendships, the story follows Corina, a hopeful writer, and her intense and distant relationships with fellow artists Martita and Paola. Translator of the novel, Liliana Valenzuela, and Mexican-American author Rigoberto González (Butterfly Boy) joined Cisneros to discuss the writing and publication of Martita. This was a dual-language event for a dual-language novel.
Martita, I Remember You / Martita, Te Recuerdo
By Sandra Cisneros
Published by Vintage
Translated by Liliana Valenzuela
A long-forgotten letter sets off a charged encounter with the past in this poignant and gorgeously told tale masterfully written by Sandra Cisneros, the celebrated bestselling author of The House on Mango Street, in a beautiful dual-language edition.
As a young woman, Corina leaves her Mexican family in Chicago to pursue her dream of becoming a writer in the cafés of Paris. Instead, she spends her brief time in the City of Light running out of money and lining up with other immigrants to call home from a broken pay phone. But the months of befriending panhandling artists in the métro, sleeping on crowded floors, and dancing the tango at underground parties are given a lasting glow by her intense friendships with Martita and Paola. Over the years the three women disperse to three continents, falling out of touch and out of mind—until a rediscovered letter brings Corina’s days in Paris back with breathtaking immediacy.
Martita, I Remember You is a rare bottle from Sandra Cisneros’s own special reserve, preserving the smoke and the sparkle of an exceptional year. Told with intimacy and searing tenderness, this tribute to the life-changing power of youthful friendship is Cisneros at her vintage best, in a beautiful dual-language edition.
Sandra Cisneros is a poet, short story writer, novelist, essayist, performer, and artist whose work explores the lives of the working-class. Her numerous awards include NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction, a MacArthur Fellowship, several honorary doctorates, and national and international book awards, including Chicago’s Fifth Star Award, the PEN America Literary Award, and the National Medal of Arts. Most recently, she received the Ford Foundation’s Art of Change Fellowship, was recognized among the Frederick Douglass 200, and won the PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature. In addition to her writing, Cisneros has fostered the careers of many aspiring and emerging writers through two nonprofits she founded: the Macondo Foundation and the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation. She is also the organizer of Los MacArturos, Latino MacArthur fellows who are community activists.
Photo Credit: Keith Dannemiller
Rigoberto González is the author of eighteen books of poetry and prose. His awards include Lannan, Guggenheim, NEA, NYFA, and USA Rolón fellowships, the PEN/Voelcker Award, the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and the Shelley Memorial Prize from the Poetry Society of America. A critic-at-large for the LA Times and contributing editor for Poets & Writers magazine, he is the series editor for the Camino del Sol Latinx Literary Series at the University of Arizona Press. Currently, he’s Distinguished Professor of English and the director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey.
Photo Credit: Rigoberto González
Liliana Valenzuela has translated the works of Sandra Cisneros, Julia Alvarez, Denise Chávez, Nina Marie Martínez, Ana Castillo, Dagoberto Gilb, Richard Rodríguez, Rudolfo Anaya, Cristina García, Gloria Anzaldúa and many other writers. In 2006, she received the Alicia Gordon Award for Word Artistry in Translation. As a poet, her most recent collection is Codex of Love: Bendita Ternura (FlowerSong Press, 2020). She is also a contributor to the podcast www.hablemosescritoras.com. A native of Mexico City, she lives and works in Austin, Texas.
Liliana Valenzuela ha traducido obras de Sandra Cisneros, Julia Alvarez, Denise Chávez, Nina Marie Martínez, Ana Castillo, Dagoberto Gilb, Richard Rodríguez, Rudolfo Anaya, Cristina García, Gloria Anzaldúa y muchos otros escritores. En 2006 recibió el Alicia Gordon Award for Word Artistry in Translation. Como poeta, su poemario bilingüe más reciente es Codex of Love: Bendita Ternura (FlowerSong Press, 2020). También es colaboradora del podcast www.hablemosescritoras.com. Originaria de la Ciudad de México, vive en Austin, Texas.
Photo Credit: April Kayganich