Sandra Cisneros Wins 2019 PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature


Thirty-four years since acclaimed author  Sandra Cisneros released her breakthrough novel The House on Mango Street, and she continues to be recognized for her contributions in literature today. Last week, Cisneros was named the recipient of the 2019 PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature. The award comes with a $50,000 monetary prize. Despite the astonishing fact that Cisneros has written several books and essays, the author said she’s just getting started. 

“It’s astonishing,” the author told The Los Angeles Times about her latest award. “I truly don’t feel that I’ve arrived at where I want to be yet. I feel that I’m just getting started.”

While it’s incredible to know that an author such as Cisneros, who’s been inspiring generations of Latinas, still has her very best ahead of her, and that’s great news for us, her fans!

“Sandra Cisneros has said that she writes because ‘the world we live in is a house on fire and the people we love are burning,'” the PEN America judges said in a statement. “In a formidable and awe-inspiring body of work, which includes fiction, memoir, and poetry, Cisneros brings us astounding and lyrical voices from burning, maligned, devastated, as well as reassembled houses, and nations. It’s hard to imagine navigating our world today without her stories and her voice guiding us toward needed much reclamation and endurance.”

PEN America Literary Awards Program Director Nadxieli Nieto went even further and said Cisneros has changed the world international literature. “She has expanded American literature to include the Americas beyond the United States, inspiring a new era of Latinx writers we see emerging today, many of whom are shortlisted for our book awards. A focus on cross-cultural dialogue, translation, and international literature has long been at the heart of PEN America’s Literary Awards program, and it is especially fitting that a binational writer with such an impressive and lyrical body of work, is the PEN/Nabokov honoree this year. We are immensely honored to present this award to Sandra Cisneros.”

Her latest book Puro Amor was released last year. Cisneros is also attending various book events, click here to see her 2019 schedule.

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