kids encyclopedia robot

Oscar Hijuelos facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Oscar Jerome Hijuelos
Born August 24, 1951
New York City, United States
Died October 12, 2013(2013-10-12) (aged 62)
New York City, United States
Occupation Novelist
Language English
Nationality American
Education B.A.; M.A. English
Alma mater City College of New York
Period 1983–2013
Genre Cuban/American, Latino: fiction and memoirs
Notable works The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love (1989)
Notable awards Rome Prize (American Academy in Rome) (1985)
- Pulitzer Prize (1990)
- Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature (2000)
Spouse Lori Marie Carlson

Oscar Jerome Hijuelos (August 24, 1951 – October 12, 2013) was an American novelist. He is the first Hispanic to win a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Early life and education

Hijuelos was born in New York City, in Morningside Heights, Manhattan. His parents were Cuban immigrants. He studied at the Corpus Christi School in Morningside Heights. Later, he attended Bronx Community College, Lehman College, and Manhattan Community College. He studied writing at the City College of New York and earned two degrees in Creative Writing there: his B.A. in1975 and M.A. in 1976. He had several jobs before becoming a full-time writer.

Writing career

His first novel, Our House in the Last World, was published in 1983 and received the 1985 Rome Prize, awarded by the American Academy in Rome. His second novel, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, received the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It was adapted for the film The Mambo Kings in 1992 and as a Broadway musical in 2005.

Teaching career

Hijuelos has taught at Hofstra University. He is a faculty member in the Department of English at Duke University.


Hijuelos collapsed due to a heart attack while playing tennis in Manhattan and never regained consciousness. He was 62 and is survived by his wife Lori Marie Carlson.


Major works

  • Our House in the Last World (1983)
  • The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love (1990)
  • The Fourteen Sisters of Emilio Montez O'Brien (1993)
  • Mr. Ives' Christmas (1995)
  • Empress of the Splendid Season (1999)
  • A Simple Habana Melody (from when the world was good) (2002)
  • Dark Dude (2008)
  • Beautiful Maria of my Soul (2010)


  • Preface, Iguana Dreams: New Latino Fiction, edited by Delia Poey and Virgil Suarez. New York, HarperPerennial, 1992.
  • Introduction, Cool Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Growing up Latino in the United States, edited by Lori M. Carlson. New York, Holt, 1994.
  • Introduction, The Cuban American Family Album by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler. New York, Oxford University Press, 1996.
  • Contributor, Best of Pushcart Press III. Pushcart, 1978.
  • Contributor, You're On!: Seven Plans in English and Spanish, edited by Lori M. Carlson. New York, Morrow Junior Books, 1999.
kids search engine
Oscar Hijuelos Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.