February 4, 2013

REVIEW: HAVE YOU SEEN MARIE? by Sandra Cisneros

  
“In Mexico they say when someone you love dies, a part of you dies with them.
But they forget to mention that a part of them is born in you—
not immediately, I’ve learned, but eventually, and gradually.”
–Sandra Cisneros



It doesn’t matter how old you are, when your mother dies, you feel like an orphan. You can be 5, 15, 30, 53, and the loss of your mami will hit you hard. Such is what happened to critically acclaimed author Sandra Cisneros. When her mother died, she felt like “a glove left behind at the bus station.” And it takes a visit from a friend and her cat to shake Sandra from her depression. From that visit, Sandra came up with this wonderful story.

In HAVE YOU SEEN MARIE?, the missing “person” is the cat. As Sandra and her friend Roz search for Marie, they travel all over the San Antonio talking to neighbors and strangers alike. Unfortunately, no one has seen poor Marie, but on her journey Sandra soon realizes that others have also lost loved ones and are coping with burdens of their own. She sits on the bank of the river and puts her face under the water and cries. The river takes her tears and joins them with the other tears in the Gulf of Mexico and all the waters throughout the world. And it is sitting by that river, under a cypress tree, that Sandra admits that she is afraid to be alone, but she listens to the voices in her heart and realizes that her mother lives on… in the wind, in the trees, the clouds, the stars, in her. At last, Sandra finds peace. And luckily, after a frantic three days, Marie finds her and Roz.

Don’t be fooled by the illustrations, this is very much an adult book. It’s a gentle book about coping with grief. A beautifully illustrated parable with a clear message—time heals.♥



AUTHOR BIO: Sandra Cisneros is best known for her novels, THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET and CARAMELO. She has won numerous literary awards including, the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowsihps, the Lannan Literary Award, and the American Book Award. Cisneros has also written a short story collection and two children’s books. Her work has been translated into more than twenty languages. Cisneros is the founder of the Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral and Macondo Foundations, which serve creative writers. Visit her at www.sandracisneros.com.


ILLUSTRATOR BIO: Ester Hernandez is an internationally acclaimed visual artist whose work is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Library of Congress, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo in Mexico City. Visit her at www.esterhernandez.com.
Sandra Cisneros (right) and Ester Hernandez