Sandra Cisneros - Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories

1 ratings (1 Epinions review)
Share This!
  Ask friends for feedback

Holler Over The Creek

Dec 18, 2003
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Simple but rich with layers...

Cons:All about the "F" word (feminism).

The Bottom Line: A triump of "transnational literature". Cisneros's stories are brilliant, multitextured tales.


Sandra Cisneros’ collection of short stories Woman Hollering Creek explores the experience of being a Mexican-American woman. These stories’ points of view range from young children to adults. Cisneros tells stories that are about women defining themselves on one side of the border or the other, and about what it means to be Mexican, “Merican,” and Mexican-American in the place where the border is both a symbolic line and a physical location.

In “Mericans,” two brothers and a sister are waiting outside the church, where a couple of obvious tourists approach them, eager to practice their Spanish and bestow gifts of candy on the children they have discovered outside. When the woman who gives them gum and takes pictures realizes that they speak English, she is baffled with the question of borders it poses. These appear to be Mexican children, but Keeks explains that they are actually “Mericans”.

Their imaginations are filled with American things—America vs. Germany, Flash Gordon, and the Lone Ranger—while they are surrounded by Mexican things like La Virgin De Guadalupe and Familia Burros comic books. Their family and their history exist on both sides of the border. They are Americans visiting Mexico, but still understand the cultural differences of the two sides, including the notions that women don’t wear pants to church and men don’t wear shorts.

“Woman Hollering Creek” is the story of Cleófilas, a woman who finds herself “on the other side” and in an abusive marriage. She lives near Woman Hollering Creek, a name that fascinates her, and between Soledad and Dolores, whose names are a play on the Spanish words for loneliness and pain. With Soledad and Dolores, she catches occasional glimpses of the telenovelas with beautiful women and wealthy men in all sorts of situations.

Cleófilas imagines herself as one of those women, and when a man raises his hand to a woman in these soap operas, Cleófilas remembers a time when she had thought that she would never stay in such a situation, and now can’t figure out exactly why it is that she does in fact stay with Juan Pedro. In the journey over the border, she has found herself in the land of oppression, where she cannot drive, watch television regularly, or even speak the language.

When she finds a way to escape—in a pick-up truck arranged for her by a woman at the doctor’s office—she is still afraid that she, her child, and her pregnancy are in danger of being caught. When she meets Felice she is fascinated by her fierceness. She drives her own pick-up truck, makes her own money, has no husband and a foul mouth. The holler she lets out in honor of the creek’s name startles Cleófilas, but she wants to holler herself, “from pain or rage,” rather than continue to live with a submissive whimper. Felice becomes an inspiration for Cleófilas as the woman who saved her and an inspiration for her own resistance to her husband’s abuse. When she is back in Mexico with her family, she has trouble explaining this woman to her father and brothers.

The most conflicted character in the collection is from “Never Marry A Mexican”. The narrator Clemencia’s mother, who had married across the border, told her never to marry a Mexican. Her mother was a Mexican-American, which her father’s family saw as marrying down. She did not speak Spanish, and did not understand the culture on the other side. Clemencia remembers her father as kind and generous, but her mother, after he died, saw her husband and their marriage as failures. Later in life she has an affair with a white man whose wife is pregnant, and she feels no pity for the wife, even while she is birthing her baby as the narrator sleeps with her husband where the baby was conceived.

Clemencia is "amphibious". She left her middle-class home when her mother marries a white man. She herself becomes a white man's lover, but the man returns home to a "redheaded Barbie doll". She is accepted among the rich because she is artistic, and accepted among the poor because she lives among them. She is used as an "exotic orchid" at parties by people who do not buy art.

In her barrio like "Sesame Street", she feels closer to her Mexican culture. When she is "vindictive and cruel," she is fighting her guilt for being the other woman and for having seperated herself from the Mexican part of herself by being with a White American.

All of Cisneros' stories are simply written but have layers of meaning. As a bilingual person, she understands that translation is never exact, so she is liberal with her use of Spanish in these English-language stories. Along the U.S.-Mexico border, the language blends as does the Mexican and American. Cisneros' explores this theme thoroughly in Woman Hollering Creek.


Recommend this product? Yes

Read all comments (3)

Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!


Related Deals You Might Like...

6 Woman Hollering Creek Other Stories Cisneros Paperback Classroom Set Lto

6 Woman Hollering Creek Other Stories Cisneros Paperback Classroom Set Lto

Up for sale is a classroom set (6) of new books,Woman Hollering Creek by Sandra Cisneros. Shipping will be media mail for $4.00. Please feel free to a...
eBay

$16.99

+$4.00 shipping
Woman Hollering Creek eBook

Woman Hollering Creek eBook

Buy Woman Hollering Creek by Sandra Cisneros and Read this Book on Kobo's Free Apps. Discover Kobo's Vast Collection of Ebooks Today - Over 3 Million...
Kobo eBooks

$9.99

FREE Shipping
Sandra Cisneros: Inspiring Latina Author

Sandra Cisneros: Inspiring Latina Author

Store Search search Title, ISBN and Author Sandra Cisneros: Inspiring Latina Author by Karen Clemens Warrick Estimated delivery 3-12 business days For...
eBay

$40.83

FREE Shipping
Latino Writers - Sandra Cisneros

Latino Writers - Sandra Cisneros

Brand new, in-stock product. Ships fast and secure. ADD TO CART with confidence!
Sears
The House On Mango Street By Sandra Cisneros

The House On Mango Street By Sandra Cisneros

The House on Mango Street By Sandra Cisneros The House on Mango Street By Sandra Cisneros ISBN-13: 978-0679734772 | ISBN-10: 679734775 Condition Brand...
eBay

$11.10

FREE Shipping
Latino Writers - Sandra Cisneros

Latino Writers - Sandra Cisneros

Brand new, in-stock product. Ships fast and secure. ADD TO CART with confidence!
Sears
Caramelo - Sandra Cisneros - 9781400041503 - 1400041503

Caramelo - Sandra Cisneros - 9781400041503 - 1400041503

9781400041503 - 1400041503 - Sandra Cisneros - Random House, Inc. - 02 Edition
Textbooks.com

$13.20

+$3.99 shipping
Hairs/pelitos By Sandra Cisneros (1997, Paperback)

Hairs/pelitos By Sandra Cisneros (1997, Paperback)

age display 4 8 audience trade author sandra cisneros author for title sandra cisneros book industry reviews this exuberant bilingual picture book wit...
eBay

$10.98

FREE Shipping
Patriarchy in Sandra Cisneros s the House on Mango Street (Social Issues in Literature)

Patriarchy in Sandra Cisneros s the House on Mango Street (Social Issues in Literature)

Patriarchy in Sandra Cisneros s the House on Mango Street (Social Issues in Literature)
Sears
Have You Seen Marie? By Sandra Cisneros Compact Disc Book (english)

Have You Seen Marie? By Sandra Cisneros Compact Disc Book (english)

Store Search search Title, ISBN and Author Have You Seen Marie? by Sandra Cisneros Estimated delivery 3-12 business days Format Compact Disc Condition...
eBay

$28.69

FREE Shipping