Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir


Barnes' debut memoir, Monsoon Mansion, is available through Amazon.com and independent booksellers in Spring 2018 (Little A).

Praise for Cinelle Barnes:

“In this incandescent debut memoir, Cinelle Barnes forges memories of her family’s downfall with tumultuous Filipino history. Like the storm in its title, Monsoon Mansion immerses us in the darkest waters of memory, stirring up unbearably brutal childhood events with lyrical prose and searing imagery, forming a woven tale that is both delicate and electric. This book assures us that even when we lose those things that give shape to our humanity—our roots, culture, and family—we can go on to devise a new way of being.”

—Susan Tekulve, author of In the Garden of Stone

“The princess becomes a pauper before she turns eleven, yet through grit and love and words, that princess, Cinelle Barnes, escapes a fallen-in mansion and broken family to survive. Light fills this beautiful memoir—breaking through the dark loneliness of a mansion with no electricity. And light will fill you and carry you on, dear reader, even after you turn the last page. Monsoon Mansion sings a song of rain and sparkling light, and like its author, we’ll all come to know the diamonds we carry in our palms.”

—Jim Minick, author of Fire Is Your Water

A young essayist’s memoir of her extraordinary riches-to-rags childhood in the Philippines…In this tender and eloquent tale, the author plumbs the depths of family dysfunction while telling a harrowing story of survival graced by moments of unexpected magic. A lyrically heartfelt memoir of resilience in the face of significant obstacles.
— Kirkus
Reminiscent of both Jeanette Walls’ memoir, The Glass Castle (2005), and Sandra Cisneros’ seminal novel The House on Mango Street (1984), this is a story of a tragic childhood told in a remarkably uplifting voice. Barnes imbues scenes from her interrupted childhood with an artistic touch that reads like literary fiction. Luminescent and shattering, Barnes’ first book is a triumph: a conquering of the past through the power of the written word.
— Booklist, Starred Review