The Weaver

The Weaver

Twenty years after writing the highly acclaimed The House on
Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros returns to the spotlight with her new
novel Caramelo.

In Book Magazine, Cisneros calls herself ‘a
miniaturist’ (chapters in The House on Mango Street are seldom
longer than a paragraph or two), yet at 440 pages, Caramelo is
something of an epic. Cisneros set out to tell the story of her
father’s life, a project that required going back still further in
time: to grandparents and ancestors and the Mexican history
surrounding them, in what Jerome Weeks calls ‘a multigenerational
saga and historical novel complete with footnotes’ that took nine
years to create.

The theme of mestizo, or mixedness, of both Mexican and American
cultures is prominent in much of Cisneros’ writing. This concept is
embodied in Caramelo through images of the quintessential mestizo
object, a handwoven shawl called a rebozo. The book’s title takes
its name from a special type of highly prized rebozo, a caramelo
shawl that is the color of golden candy and soft as corn silk,
symbolizing family continuity as it is handed down from generation
to generation.
–Erica Sagrans
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