Empress of the Splendid Season

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Harper Collins, Jan 5, 2000 - Fiction - 352 pages
3 Reviews
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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ninaksimon - LibraryThing

I'm a huge Hijuelos fan, but this book didn't do it for me. It felt tired and plodding compared to the passion and music of Mambo Kings, 14 Sisters, even Beautiful Maria. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - theageofsilt - LibraryThing

The central character, Lydia Espana, is a Cuban immigrant from a wealthy family reduced to working as a cleaning woman in New York City. She is completely credible and her constant feeling that she is ... Read full review


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About the author (2000)

Oscar Hijuelos was born of Cuban parentage 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, among others. His five previous novels have been translated into twenty-five languages.

Oscar Hijuelos nació de padres cubanos en Nueva York en 1951. Sus otras novelas incluyen Mr. Ives' Christmas, The Fourteen Sisters of Emilio Montez O'Brien, Our House in the Last World y A Simple Havana Melody (Una Sencilla Melodía Habanera). Vive en Nueva York.

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