The Pulitzer Prize–winning The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love is a contemporary American classic, a novel that still captures the imagination twenty years after its first publication. And now, in Beautiful María of My Soul, Oscar Hijuelos returns to the story, but tells it from the point of view of its beloved heroine, Maria.
She’s the great Cuban beauty, the woman who stole musician Nestor Castillo’s heart and broke it, inspiring him to write the Mambo Kings’ biggest hit, “Beautiful María of My Soul.” Here, in Hijuelos’s dazzling new stand-alone novel, she finally takes the spotlight.
Now in her early sixties and living in Miami with her pediatrician daughter, Teresa, Beautiful María still turns heads. Having left Cuba decades before, she has gone on with her life, but has never forgotten Nestor, and as she thinks back to her days—and nights—in Havana, an entirely new perspective on the Mambo Kings story unfolds. Beautiful María of My Soul is a stunning feat of reimagination, another contemporary classic from an extraordinarily talented writer.
“I fell instantly in love with the glorious soul of Beautiful María of My Soul. Hijuelos has created and brought to life two beloved characters, a heart-stealing heroine and Havana during an epoch of changing fate.” –Amy Tan, bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God’s Wife “Beautiful María is the Queen of the Mambo Kings! Oscar Hijuelos brings this magnificent character to life in this lyrical novel.” –Gay Talese, author of A Writer’s Life
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