Oscar Hijuelos Beautiful Maria of My Soul

ISBN 13: 9781401310516

Beautiful Maria of My Soul

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“Savor the mysterious power of a master’s pentimento.

Los Angeles Times

“It takes a lot of nerve and skill to pull off something as rich as Beautiful MarÍa of My Soul, but pull it off Hijuelos does.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer

“I fell instantly in love with the glorious soul of Beautiful MarÍa of My Soul. Hijuelos has created and brought to life two beloved characters, a heart-stealing heroine and Havana during an epoch of changing fate.”

—Amy Tan, bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club

In Beautiful MarÍa of My Soul, Oscar Hijuelos returns to the passionate tale he began twenty years ago in The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love.

MarÍa is the great Cuban beauty who stole musician Nestor Castillo’s heart and broke it, inspiring him to write the Mambo Kings’ biggest hit, “Beautiful MarÍa of My Soul.'” Now in her sixties and living as an exile in Miami, MarÍa remains a beauty, still capable of turning heads. But while she left Cuba decades ago, she has never forgotten Nestor. As she thinks back to her days—and nights—in Havana, an entirely new perspective on the Mambo Kings story unfolds. Beautiful MarÍa of My Soul is a stunning act of reinvention, and another contemporary classic from an extraordinarily talented writer.

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About the Author:

Oscar Hijuelos, the son of Cuban immigrants, was in New York City in 1951. He is a recipient of the Rome Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. His novels--Mambo Kings, Our House in the Last World, The Fourteen Sisters of Emilio Montez O'Brien, Mr. Ives' Christmas, Empress of the Splendid Season, and A Simple Habana Melody--have been translated into twenty-five languages.

From AudioFile:

Oscar Hijuelos introduced the world to Cesar and Nestor Castillo in THE MAMBO KINGS PLAY SONGS OF LOVE (1989). Now, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author tells the story of the beautiful Cuban woman who inspired Nestor to write a haunting bolero, "Beautiful Maria of My Soul," about the girl he left behind but never forgot. Armando Durán's interpretation couldn't be more sensitive, more evocative, or more erotic as he tackles the complexities and contradictions of Beautiful Maria, who leaves her peasant origins to find love and glamour in 1950s Havana. Durán maintains a narrator's objective distance yet creates unforgettable characters brimming with passion. In the novel's amusing last section, a sheepish Hijuelos appears, finally meeting the flesh-and-blood Beautiful Maria. Durán's sensual performance will melt your earbuds. S.J.H. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine

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Publisher: Hyperion Books, 2010
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