The House on Mango Street is made up of series of vignettes about the characters that populate a blue-collar Chicago neighborhood, seen through the eyes of a Mexican-American teenager, who acts as narrator for the reader.
Regarded as a classic of Chicana literature, the 1984 book has been described as a telenovela of sorts by The New York Times and has made its way on to the curriculum in some U.S. schools and colleges.
Cisneros has previously declined offers to adapt the book for film and TV, according to Gaumont, but she changed her mind amid the explosion in streaming services and the ongoing dialogue about immigration in America.
“I write because the world we live in is a house on fire, and the people we love are burning,” she said. “Television has grown up in the last 20 years and now is the time to tell our stories.”
Cisneros will serve as an executive producer on the show, if commissioned. The project will be overseen by Alexandra Hunter, Gaumont’s senior vice president of creative affairs, and Tely Morrison, manager of creative affairs.
Gene Stein, Gaumont’s president of U.S. Television, said: “The House on Mango Street is a timeless story that captures the struggles, dreams, and spirit of a young woman who epitomizes the experience of many young women coming of age in America today. It’s an inspiring and uplifting story that speaks to the challenges faced by so many trying to find their place in society.”
Lucy Stille, a literary agent at APA, brokered the deal on behalf of Susan Bergholz, Cisneros’ literary agent.