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Oscar Hijuelos (1951–2013)

Forfatter af The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love

15+ Works 4,433 Members 163 Reviews 6 Favorited

Om forfatteren

Óscar Jerome Hijuelos was born in Manhattan, New York on August 24, 1951 to Cuban immigrant parents. He received a bachelor's degree and a master of fine arts degree from City College. His first novel, Our House in the Last World, was published in 1983 and won the Rome Prize of the American vis mere Academy of Arts and Letters. His other works include The Fourteen Sisters of Emilio Montez O'Brien, Mr. Ives' Christmas, Empress of the Splendid Season, A Simple Habana Melody (From When the World was Good), Beautiful Maria of My Soul, Another Spaniard in the Works, and Twain and Stanley Enter Paradise. His novel, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, won the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and was made into a 1992 movie starring Armand Assante and Antonio Banderas. He also wrote a young adult novel entitled Dark Dude and a memoir entitled Thoughts Without Cigarettes. In 2000, he received the Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature. He died after collapsing with a heart attack while playing tennis on October 12, 2013 at age 62. (Bowker Author Biography) vis mindre
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Associated Works

Cool Salsa (1994) — Introduktion; Bidragyder — 298 eksemplarer
Writing New York: A Literary Anthology (1998) — Bidragyder — 274 eksemplarer
Growing Up Latino: Memoirs and Stories (1993) — Bidragyder — 128 eksemplarer
The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature (2010) — Bidragyder — 58 eksemplarer
Voices in First Person: Reflections on Latino Identity (2008) — Bidragyder — 38 eksemplarer
The Good Parts: The Best Erotic Writing in Modern Fiction (2000) — Bidragyder — 34 eksemplarer
You're On!: Seven Plays in English and Spanish (1999) — Bidragyder — 17 eksemplarer
The Mambo Kings [1992 film] (1992) — Original book — 15 eksemplarer
The Cuban American Family Album (1996) — Introduktion, nogle udgaver14 eksemplarer
Amerika, Amerika bloemlezing — Bidragyder — 8 eksemplarer

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Die ein Jahrhundert umspannende, detailverliebte und lebensstrotzende Geschichte einer Familie. Der fantasievolle Erzähler breitet sie in der ihm eigenen Mischung aus liebevoller Charakterschilderung, Sinnlichkeit und epischem Schwung aus.(dzblesen.de)
Hoppetosse1 | 6 andre anmeldelser | Jan 22, 2024 |
Oscar Hijuelos was four years old when he contracted nephritis during a visit with family in Cuba. The resulting hospital stay would alter his life forever. He went into the hospital as a Spanish-speaking first-generation Cuban-American. After a year of being insulted and treated badly by English-speaking nurses solely because he did not understand what they said to him, he came out of the hospital as an English-speaking "former" Cuban. I was appalled at the way the nurses treated a small child because of his language and heritage. Apparently, this experience scarred him to the extent that even after returning to his Spanish-speaking home, he refused to speak even one word of Spanish, or even acknowledge that he understood it when he heard it spoken. I find it ironic that he was chastised in the hospital for not knowing English, then spent years at odds with his family for not speaking Spanish.

Due to his hospital stay, Hijuelos started school late, and unable to read either English or Spanish. He struggled with English, feeling that it was somehow forbidden to him. Despite that, he is now very articulate and even eloquent at times. I find it interesting that he didn't even like to read growing up, preferring comic books because he could see what was happening without being hampered by words. He seems to have grown out of that. He is the first Latino to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

I liked that there were gaps in his memory and that he doesn't claim to remember or know every single thing that has ever happened. I find that this makes memoirs more believable. There was quite a lot of name-dropping, but Hijuelos did have the benefit of being involved in the NYC literary/arts community. Attending several NYC colleges and universities over the years, he also had a broader pool of students and professors than most people would have. I did get the feeling that the author became successful in spite of himself. He turns down or just plain misses opportunities that many aspiring authors would trade anything for.

This is not a dull, dry recitation of the author's life. There is some rambling from time to time, and I had to look up some of the writers mentioned as well as some of the Spanish slang. (I understood the "regular" Spanish.) Small stories of incidents woven through the book keep it interesting and often humorous. Such as when we read about how smoking an iguana out of a butchered pig ended with the entire family chasing and killing tarantulas. Or how Hijuelos sent a frustrated mugger to steal from Columbia students because City College students were too poor.

This isn't the best memoir I've ever read, but it is worth reading.

I won this book in a Goodreads First-reads giveaway.

This review is part of my Hurricane Relief Review-a-thon. http://www.livinglearninglovinglife.com/2012/11/pre-review-a-thon-post.html
… (mere)
amandabeaty | 8 andre anmeldelser | Jan 4, 2024 |
If you want to read 400 meandering pages about the huge penis of a repugnant, misogynist rapist, this is the book for you. If you are sane, skip it.
myshkin77 | 30 andre anmeldelser | Aug 10, 2023 |
dgmathis | 30 andre anmeldelser | Mar 15, 2023 |



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