Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestseller: A “lush, tipsy, all-night mambo of a novel about Cuban musicians in strange places like New York City” (People).
Brothers Nestor and Cesar Camillo arrive from Cuba in 1949 with dreams of becoming famous mambo musicians. This memorable novel traces the arc of the two brothers’ lives—one charismatic and macho, the other soulful and sensitive—from Havana to New York, from East Coast clubs and dance halls to the heights of musical fame.
The basis for a popular film, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love “tells of the triumphs and tragedies that befall two men blessed with gigantic appetites and profoundly melancholic hearts. . . . Hijuelos has depicted a world as enchanting as that in Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera” (Publishers Weekly).
“Rich and provocative . . . a moving portrait of a man, his family, a community and a time.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
The child of Cuban immigrants, Oscar Hijuelos (1951-2013) was an American-born novelist and the first Hispanic writer to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. A native New Yorker, he earned a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from the City College of New York, where he studied under Susan Sontag, Donald Barthelme, and William S. Burroughs. In addition to the Pulitzer, Hijuelos won the Rome Prize, an Ingram Merrill Foundation Award, the Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature as well as several grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He wrote seven novels which have been translated into more than 25 languages.