Empress of the Splendid Season
Oscar Hijuelos vividly brings to life the joys, desires, and disappointment of American life witnessed through the experience of a formerly prosperous Cuban émigré named Lydia Espana--now a cleaning woman in New York. In magnetic prose, he juxtaposes Lydia's tale with the stories of her clients, contrasting her experiences with the secret lives of those for whom she works. No one writes better of love or the pulse of a city, nor has any writer better captured the complexity inherent in the emigration experience; how assimilation is at once the achievement of dreams, yet also a loss of the past. Empress of the Splendid Season is Hijuelos at his masterful best, a novel filled with incantatory, rhythmic prose and rich in heartfelt vision.
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125th Street afternoon Amsterdam Avenue apartment art deco asked Avenue Beatles beautiful beer began Broadway Cal Tjader called cigarette cleaning lady cleaning woman coat Cuba Cuban dance dark daugh daughter dollars door dream dress drink Eliseo Ernesto Lecuona Errol Flynn Espana eyes face father feel fellow felt floor friends Fuentes girl gotten hair hallway hand happened happy Havana heard heart Hijuelos Hispanic husband James Mason kids kind kitchen knew living room look Mario Mireya morning mother movie nearly neighborhood never nice night Okay once Oscar Hijuelos Osprey Osprey's Park passed poor Puerto Rican Raul's Rico and Alicia Rita Moreno seemed sitting smell smile someone sometimes Spanish street subway Susanah talk television tell things thought told took voice waiter walking wanted watching Wilfredo window young woman youth