Oscar Hijuelos “Thoughts Without Cigarettes”
June 6th, 2011
After 21 years and seven bestselling novels — including “The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love,” for which he won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction — Oscar Hijuelos has now written his first nonfiction book. As his sixtieth birthday approaches this summer, Hijuelos looks back on his life in a memoir he calls “Thoughts Without Cigarettes.”
He was born in New York in 1951 to working-class Cuban immigrant parents. An early turning point in his life came at age four, when, after returning from Cuba with a serious kidney infection, he was hospitalized for a year, isolated from his family — and forgot how to speak Spanish. In a sense, Hijuelos has been seeking his Hispanic identity ever since.
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