Our House in the Last World

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Washington Square Press, 1983 - Fiction - 253 pages
11 Reviews
This award-winning first novel from the author of the National Book Award nominee The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love was applauded by the New York Times Book Review as "a novel of great warmth and tenderness . . . a virtuoso writing that describes immigrant life in New York . . . a loving and deeply felt tribute".

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Review: Our House in the Last World

User Review  - Penney - Goodreads

The writing is pretty solid, and downright poetic in spots — particularly the reminiscences of his mother, and the family's original heritage. However, I did feel as a reader that I was skipping ... Read full review

Review: Our House in the Last World

User Review  - Ann - Goodreads

I finished this book, but cannot say that I enjoyed it. A depressing story! The last few pages really went way out there, and seemed disconnected from the rest of the story. The rating is really only 2.5 stars. Read full review


Cuba 19291943
America 19441947
An Evening 1951

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About the author (1983)

Oscar Hijuelos, winner of the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, was born in New York City and educated at the City College of New York. Hijuelos's novels Our House in the New World (1983) and The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love (winner of the Pulitzer Prize), deal with Cubans who immigrated to America in the 1940s. Concerned with questions of identity and perspective, both novels attempt, in Hijuelos's words, to "commemorate at least a few aspects of the Cuban psyche (as I know it)." Hijuelos's writing is emotional, generous, and elegant; although his novels are in one sense realistic, they also reflect the magic-realist tradition of Latin American writing. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Hijuelos's imagination is epic---he follows his characters' lives from their origins in Cuba to their final days of squalor in Spanish Harlem. Hijuelos portrays with clarity and sympathy characters who succumb to the pressures that "work against the [American] dream of upward mobility." Hijuelos's novel, The Fourteen Sisters of Emilio Montez O'Brien (1993), is quite different from his prize-winning The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love. While that earlier work focused on Cuban-American fraternal machismo, the latter work celebrates femininity in a Pennsylvania family of mixed Cuban and Irish descent. Though displaying some aspects of magic-realism, the work is, in most respects, a realistic account of the lives of its characters. Winner of numerous awards, Hijuelos has been recognized as introducing a new, strong voice to contemporary American fiction.

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