Sandra Cisneros is a very successful Latina author in today's literary world. She is one of a few accomplished Mexican-American female writers who is recognized in the mainstream. As stated in the New York Times, "Cisneros is "one of only a handful of Latina writers to make it big on the American scene."" She was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1954, which happens to be one of the large centers of the Mexican-American community. Cisneros" father was Mexican and her mother was Mexican-American. She grew up with both the English and Spanish language used in her home. She was also raised with a mix of Mexican and American ways of life. Cisneros" writing is influenced heavily by her upbringing and so she often writes about being considered an outsider and a minority in America. .
Cisneros appears to want to "motivate" readers to make the world a better place. She was motivated in college to write based on her own unique background when she realized that a majority of her classmates had no understanding of her world and therefore her writing. Their upbringings created totally different writing styles and inspired Cisneros to write about her real- life experiences with adversity and poverty. This goal of writing strong, inspiring, and realistic stories has earned Sandra Cisneros respect and admiration from readers and critics alike. This is shown by some of the great honors and awards she has received. For example, Cisneros won the Before Columbus American Book Award for The House on Mango Street in 1985. She also "since 1981 has won three National Endowment for The Arts grants". The MacArthur "Genius Grant" fellowship was awarded to her in 1995 and the Lannan Literary Award in 1991. In addition to awards Cisneros has been established as a role model for Hispanics, females, writers or all of the above thanks to her groundbreaking and impactful works.