Oscar Hijuelos

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Oscar Jerome Hijuelos

Hijuelos at the Miami Book Fair International, 1993
Born August 24, 1951
New York City, United States
Died October 12, 2013(2013-10-12) (aged 62)
New York City, United States
Occupation Novelist
Language English
Nationality American
Ethnicity Cuban American
Education B.A.; M.A. English [1]
Alma mater City College of New York [1]
Period 1983–2013[1]
Genres Cuban/American, Latino: fiction and memoirs
Notable work(s) The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love (1989)
Notable award(s) Rome Prize (American Academy in Rome) (1985)
- Pulitzer Prize (1990)
- Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature (2000) [1]
Spouse(s) Lori Marie Carlson[2]

Oscar Jerome Hijuelos (August 24, 1951 – October 12, 2013) was an American novelist. He is the first Hispanic to win a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.[3]

Early life and education[change | edit source]

Hijuelos was born in New York City, in Morningside Heights, Manhattan. His parents were Cuban immigrants. He studied at the Corpus Christi School in Morningside Heights. [4] Later, he attended Bronx Community College, Lehman College, and Manhattan Community College. He studied writing at the City College of New York and earned two degrees in Creative Writing there: his B.A. in1975 and M.A. in 1976).[4] He had several jobs before becoming a full-time writer.

Writing career[change | edit source]

His first novel, Our House in the Last World, was published in 1983 and received the 1985 Rome Prize, awarded by the American Academy in Rome. His second novel, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, received the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It was adapted for the film The Mambo Kings in 1992 and as a Broadway musical in 2005.

Teaching career[change | edit source]

Hijuelos has taught at Hofstra University. He is a faculty member in the Department of English at Duke University.[5]

Death[change | edit source]

Hijuelos collapsed due to a heart attack while playing tennis in Manhattan and never regained consciousness. He was 62 and is survived by his wife Lori Marie Carlson[6].[7]

Works[change | edit source]

Major works[change | edit source]

  • Our House in the Last World (1983)
  • The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love (1990)
  • The Fourteen Sisters of Emilio Montez O'Brien (1993)
  • Mr. Ives' Christmas (1995)
  • Empress of the Splendid Season (1999)
  • A Simple Habana Melody (from when the world was good) (2002)
  • Dark Dude (2008)
  • Beautiful Maria of my Soul (2010)

Contributions[change | edit source]

  • Preface, Iguana Dreams: New Latino Fiction, edited by Delia Poey and Virgil Suarez. New York, HarperPerennial, 1992.
  • Introduction, Cool Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Growing up Latino in the United States, edited by Lori M. Carlson. New York, Holt, 1994.
  • Introduction, The Cuban American Family Album by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler. New York, Oxford University Press, 1996.
  • Contributor, Best of Pushcart Press III. Pushcart, 1978.
  • Contributor, You're On!: Seven Plans in English and Spanish, edited by Lori M. Carlson. New York, Morrow Junior Books, 1999.

Notes[change | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Brennan, Elizabeth A.; Clarage, Elizabeth C., Who's who of Pulitzer Prize winners, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999. Cf. p 245
  2. Lori Marie Carlson: writer's website
  3. Candelaria, Cordelia; Garcia, Peter J.; Aldama, Arturo J., Encyclopedia of Latino popular culture, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004. Cf. pp.343-345
  4. 4.0 4.1 Carlson, Lori M.; and Hijuelos, Oscar, Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States, Macmillan, 2005. ISBN 0805076166. Cf. Introduction, p.xvi. "Once, while in the fourth grade at Corpus Christi School, I received a Valentine's card that said 'I think you're cute'. ..."
  5. "Oscar Hijuelos, Professor of the Practice", Duke University, English Department faculty
  6. Lori Marie Carlson: writer's website
  7. "Oscar Hijuelos, Cuban-American Writer Who Won Pulitzer, Dies at 62". NY Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/14/books/oscar-hijuelos-cuban-american-writer-who-won-pulitzer-dies-at-62.html?hp&_r=0hp. Retrieved 13 October 2013.

Other websites[change | edit source]