Novelist, poet and short story writer Sandra Cisneros will receive the 2014 Thomas Wolfe Prize and deliver the annual lecture Oct. 21 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The free public talk will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Genome Sciences Building auditorium, 250 Bell Tower Road.
“The House on Mango Street,” Cisneros’ 1984 novel about a working-class Mexican-American girl growing up in inner-city Chicago, has sold more than 2 million copies, been translated into 20 languages, and become required reading in high schools and colleges across the country.
Themes of home and identity, race and class, and feminism pervade Cisneros’s work. Her writings include the poetry collections “My Wicked Wicked Ways” (1987) and “Loose Woman”(1994), the short story collection “Woman Hollering Creek” (1991), the children’s book “Pelitos” (1994), the novel “Caramelo” (2002) and the 2012 picture book for adults “Have You Seen Marie?”
Cisneros has been honored with a MacArthur “genius grant” Fellowship, an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, a Lannan Foundation Literary Award, an American Book Award and two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships.
In 1995, she founded the Macondo Foundation, which holds annual weeklong workshops for socially engaged writers from across the nation. It also awards money to Latina/o writers “in need of time to heal their body, heart or spirit.”
The annual lecture and prize honor Thomas Wolfe, author of “Look Homeward, Angel,” who graduated from Carolina in 1920.
Sponsors of the 2014 lecture are 1978 English alumnus John Skipper and his wife Jessica, The Thomas Wolfe Society and the department of English and comparative literature. The prize money comes from the Thomas Wolfe Endowment Fund. Ben Jones, a 1950 UNC alumnus, provides the medals that each recipient receives.