'The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love' Released As eBook
RosettaBooks has released three Oscar Hijuelos works as eBooks, including The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, for which he was the first Latino to win a Pulitzer Prize in 1990, Our House in the Last World, and The Fourteen Sisters of Emilio Montez O'Brien. Oscar Hijuelos recently died at age 62, a huge loss to American literature.
"Oscar Hijuelos has left a literary legacy about immigrant identity," said Arthur Klebanoff, CEO of RosettaBooks. "These three novels weave history and prose into tapestries of finely crafted American stories. We are proud to share them with a broader audience through eBook editions."
Born in New York City to Cuban parents, Hijuelos knew well the feeling of alienation that many immigrants and their progeny experience with one foot in the homeland and one in the motherland. He was raised in a Spanish-speaking home, but lost his ability for the language after a year-long hospitalization.
In a 2011 essay in The New York Times, Hijuelos wrote, "It was during that long separation from my family that I became estranged from the Spanish language and, therefore, my roots."
The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love became an instant sensation.
"Indeed, Oscar Hijuelos' remarkable new novel is another kind of American story - an immigrant story of lost opportunities and squandered hopes," wrote Michiko Kakutani wrote in The New York Times for her original review.
Brothers Nestor and Cesar Camillo move to New York City from Cuba in 1949 with dreams of finding fame as musicians in The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love. Their similarities end there since one is full of machismo and the other sensitivity. However, as a debut on the I Love Lucy show reveals, the American Dream can be more elusive than one imagines. The story was made into the popular film Mambo Kings in 1992 with Antonio Banderas and Armand Assante.