Stock Image

A Simple Habana Melody: (from when the world was good)

Hijuelos, Oscar

347 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0060175699 / ISBN 13: 9780060175696
Published by Harper, New York, 2002
Used Condition: As New Hardcover
From Jay Toelkes (Salem, OR, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since March 11, 2014

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: US$ 24.68 Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 7.25 Within U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

2002 As New Book, As New Unclipped jacket, Stated First Edition, First Printing 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 342 clean tight unmarked deckled pages, tan end pages, book has tan boards with 1/4 light brown covered spine with green foil embossed lettering on the spine, jacket is color illustrated. Bookseller Inventory # 005169

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: A Simple Habana Melody: (from when the world...

Publisher: Harper, New York

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:As New

Dust Jacket Condition: As New

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

It is 1947 and Israel Levis, a Cuban composer whose life had once been a dream of music, love and sadness, is returning to Habana, Cuba, from Spain, where he has just recovered from the physical and spiritual malaise resulting from his experiences in Paris, then Buchenwald, during the Nazi occupation of France. (A devout Catholic, Levis had been mistakenly identified as a Jew because of his name.)

When Levis arrives back in Habana, after an absence of many years, his mind is reeling with beautiful memories of his life in Cuba and in Paris before the war, a life of pleasure and excitement that he owes, in part, to an unrequited, nearly "chivalrous" romance with a certain Rita Valladares, a singer for whom Levis had written his most famous song, "Rosas Puras," or "Pretty Roses." This 1928 composition becomes the most famous rumba in the world and changes both American and European tastes in music and dance -- forever; and it is the song, symbolic of the composer's love for Rita Valladares, that sets Levis's life in Europe in motion.

This is at once a love story -- for art, family and country -- as well as a portrait of Habana at the turn of the last century, when "the world was good." A Simple Habana Melody is a virtuoso performance from one of our most important writers.

Review:

Oscar Hijuelos's sixth novel, A Simple Habana Melody, is as much a love song to prewar Cuba as the "simple melody" at the center of the book. That tune, named "Roses Puras," was written by Hijuelos's protagonist, the aging composer Israel Levis, in the 1920s for his protégé and secret love, the singer Rita Valladares. The novel is set just after World War II, when Levis has returned to his childhood home in Havana after many years in Europe, at first in Paris, then in Buchenwald, where he was interned by Nazis who ignored the crucifix around his neck and focused only on his Sephardic name. The bittersweet feelings Levis bears toward "Rosas Puras" ("Beautiful Roses"), his best-known song, were further complicated when a German officer, who had gathered some musically gifted inmates for a concert, asked him to play this catchy old tune, unaware that Levis had written it. But this is not primarily a war novel; it is a novel of memory, a series of visits to the beautiful, vanished world of Levis's childhood and youth seen through the lens of his later suffering. Written with the same richness of detail, sensuality, and musicality of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1990, A Simple Habana Melody contains even greater emotional depth and narrative complexity. --Regina Marler

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

Book Seller- all types of books including Biographies, history, fiction, non-fiction, sports, vintage, etc.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

We guarantee the condition of every book as it's described on the Abebooks web sites. If you're dissatisfied with your purchase (Incorrect Book/Not as Described/Damaged) or if the order hasn't arrived, you're eligible for a refund within 30 days of the estimated delivery date. If you've changed your mind about a book that you've ordered, please use the Ask bookseller a question link to contact us and we'll respond within 2 business days. JAYSTIME Jay Toelkes, 35 Northwood Commons Place Chico, CA...

More Information
Shipping Terms:

Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express