Thoughts without Cigarettes: A Memoir

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Penguin, Jun 2, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 384 pages
2 Reviews
A beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist turns his pen to the real people and places that have influenced his life and literature.  A comprehensive look into the mind of a writer.

Born in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights to Cuban immigrants in 1951, Oscar Hijuelos introduces readers to the colorful circumstances of his upbringing. The son of a Cuban hotel worker and exuberant poetry-writing mother, his story, played out against the backdrop of a working-class neighborhood, takes on an even richer dimension when his relationship with his family and culture changes forever. During a sojourn with his mother in pre-Castro Cuba, he catches a disease that sends him into a Dickensian home for terminally ill children. The yearlong stay estranges him from the very language and people he had so loved.

With a cast of characters whose stories are both funny and tragic, Thoughts Without Cigarettes follows Hijuelos's subsequent quest for his true identity a mystery whose resolution he eventually discovers hidden away in the trappings of his fiction, and which finds its most glorious expression in his best-known book,The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love. Illuminating the most dazzling scenes from his novels, Thoughts Without Cigarettes reveals the true stories and indelible memories that shaped a literary genius.

 

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Thoughts Without Cigarettes: A Memoir

User Review  - Nedra Crowe-Evers - Book Verdict

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Hijuelos (The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love) proves himself again with his autobiography, a memoir of childhood and early adulthood and a tribute to his father, who ... Read full review

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Contents

PART ONE The Way Some Things Worked
A Few Notes on My Past
Some Moments of Freedom
Childhood Ends
PART TWO What Happened Afterward
My Two Selves
My Life on Madison Avenue
Our House in the Last World
Roma
Another Book
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Oscar Hijuelos is the international bestselling author of eight novels, including The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, for which he became the first Latino to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He also has received the Rome Prize as well as prestigious grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. He lives in New York City.

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