Foreword by Junot Díaz
Formats and Prices
Winner of the Ingram Merrill Foundation Award and the Rome Prize
Hector Santinio is the younger son of Alejo and Mercedes, who moved to New York from Cuba in the mid-1940s. The family of four shares their modest apartment with extended relatives in Harlem, where homesickness and nostalgia are dispelled by nights of dancing and raucous parties. But life’s realities are nevertheless harsh in the Santinio family’s adoptive land.
When Mercedes takes Hector and his brother to visit Cuba, to better know her culture, Hector contracts a serious illness that leads to a terrifying period of hospitalization back in the United States where, isolated from his family, he loses much of his ability to speak Spanish. And it is this fracturing that sparks a lifelong quest to not only reconcile his Cuban identity with his American one, but to also understand his parents’ ambitions and anxieties within the country at large.
In this profoundly moving account of immigrant life, Oscar Hijuelos displays, once again, his mastery over both character and language—and sets readers on an unforgettable journey of hope, longing, and self-discovery.
Includes a Reading Group Guide.
"Just about the finest first novel ever written . . . one of those great works of art that breaks your heart and yet miraculously makes you whole - a towering achievement."Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
"A story that stands up for the dignity of American immigrants."Esmeralda Santiago, author of When I Was Puerto Rican
"Never loses the syntax of magic ... a novel of great warmth and tenderness."The New York Times Book Review
"Elegiac as well as bittersweet and celebratory."Publishers Weekly
"Marked by eloquently trimmed prose, great assurance, and uncompromising darkness."Kirkus
- On Sale
- Apr 9, 2024
- Page Count
- 256 pages
- Grand Central Publishing