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The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love is a Pulitzer Prize-winning contemporary American classic, a book that still captivates and inspires readers twenty years after its first publication. Now, in Beautiful Maria of My Soul, Oscar Hijuelos returns to this indelible story, to tell it from the point of view of its beloved heroine, Maria.
She's the great Cuban beauty who stole musician Nestor Castillo's heart and broke it, inspiring him to write the Mambo Kings' biggest hit, ''Beautiful Maria of My Soul.'' Now in her sixties and living in Miami with her pediatrician daughter, Teresa, Maria remains a beauty, still capable of turning heads. But she has never forgotten Nestor, and as she thinks back to her days--and nights--in Havana, an entirely new perspective on the Mambo Kings story unfolds.
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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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