Photo: Oscar Hijuelos
Writer Oscar Hijuelos, the first Hispanic to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, died last weekend in Manhattan, The New York Times said. He was 62.
He collapsed while playing tennis and never regained consciousness, wife Lori Marie Carlson told The Times.
Born in New York to Cuban parents, Hijuelos dedicated much of his work to writing about Latin Americans adapting to U.S. customs.
“Our House in the Last World,” his first novel, was published in 1983 and received the Rome Prize.
His second novel, “The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love,” earned him the Pulitzer Prize in 1989 and was also made into a movie entitled “The Mambo Kings” in 1992.
His characters were not always immigrants newly arrived in the United States, but all of them faced the trials of being assimilated and absorbed into a culture different from their own, while at the same time fighting to hang onto their own national ethnicity and identity.
Hijuelos revived a character from “Mambo Kings” in his 2010 book, “Beautiful Maria of My Soul.”