"Woman Hollering Creek" was first published in Sandra Cisneros's 1991 collection of short stories, Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories. Like her novel, The House on Mango Street, published in 1983, which describes the lives of Mexican immigrants in a Chicago neighborhood, "Woman Hollering Creek" describes the lives of Mexicans who have crossed the border to live on ''el otro lado''— the other side—in the American Southwest. Critically acclaimed as a major voice in Chicana and feminist literature, Cisneros has won numerous awards and has established herself as an important voice in the American literary mainstream as well. Cisneros's work is widely anthologized, and her novel, short stories, and poetry are part of many high school and college literature classes.
In "Woman Hollering Creek" Cisneros writes of a woman, Cleofilas, who is trapped in a constricting, culturally assigned gender role due to her linguistic isolation, violent marriage, and poverty. Weaving in allusions to women of Mexican history and folklore, making it clear that women across the centuries have suffered the same alienation and victimization, Cisneros presents a woman who struggles to prevail over romantic notions of domestic bliss by leaving her husband, thus awakening the power within her.