Beautiful Maria of My Soul: Or the True Story of Maria Garcia y Cifuentes, the Lady Behind a Famous Song (Hardcover)

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

By Oscar Hijuelos

Hachette Books, 9781401323349, 340pp.

Publication Date: June 1, 2010

June 2010 Indie Next List

“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
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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.

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.