Pulitzer Prize-winning author Oscar Hijuelos, BA ’75, MA ’76, will deliver the Fall 2012 President’s Lecture at The City College of New York 5:30 p.m. Thursday, December 6, in The Great Hall of Shepard Hall. His talk is titled “Coming Home to City College” and is free and open to the public.
A native New Yorker born to Cuban immigrant parents, the City College alumnus in 1990 became the first U.S.-born Hispanic to win the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for “The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love,” which was published the prior year by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. The book, a tale about two brothers who come to New York from Cuba in the 1950s and start an orchestra, was the basis for “The Mambo Kings,” a 1992 film, as well as a musical produced in 2005.
His debut novel, “Our House in the Last World,” (Pocket Books, 1983) received the Rome Prize. Other novels by Mr. Hijuelos include: “The Fourteen Sisters of Emilio Montez O’Brien,” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1993) “Mr. Ives’ Christmas,” (HarperCollins, 1995) and “Beautiful Maria of My Soul,” (HarperCollins, 2010) which is, in part, a sequel to “The Mambo Kings.”
In 2011, Penguin Group published his memoir, “Thoughts Without Cigarettes,” about his struggle to merge his Cuban and American identities.
Other awards to Mr. Hijuelos include the Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature in 2000.
Mr. Hijuelos is a member of the English department at Duke University where he holds the title Professor of the Practice and teaches creative writing.
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