Beautiful Maria of My Soul

Or the True Story of Maria Garcia y Cifuentes, the Lady Behind a Famous Song

By Oscar Hijuelos
Hyperion Books, Hardcover, 9781401323349, 340pp.

Publication Date: June 2010

List Price: $25.99*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the June 2010 Indie Notables
“With sizzle and passion Oscar Hijuelos lures his readers into recapturing the romance of pre-revolutionary Havana, once called the 'Paris of the Caribbean,' in his earlier book The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love. Maria was Nestor's torment and inspiration in that Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, and now she recounts her breathtaking story to her daughter, Teresa. Filled with intensity, longing, love and betrayal, this new work brings to life a vibrant, bygone era in Cuban culture.”
— Scott Fultz, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI


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.

About the Author
Oscar Hijuelos (1951 2013) wasa recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, the Rome Prize, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. He was also nominated for the National Book Award.
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