Hyperion Books announced Tuesday that it will publish Pulitzer Prize-winning author Oscar Hijuelos’s "Beautiful Maria of My Soul," a companion novel to his The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love. Gotham Books, an imprint of Penguin Group, joined Hyperion in announcing a second book, "Thoughts Without Cigarettes," a memoir about Hijuelos’s life, is also in the works.
Borrowing from his own experience as the son of Cuban immigrants, Hijuelos brought to life the story of musicians and brothers, Nestor and Cesar Castillo, in his 1990 The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love. Quickly popular the novel sold more than 300,000 copies and earned Hijuelos a Pulitzer Prize, the first Hispanic writer to win the coveted prize. The novel was later turned into a feature film and a musical.Picking up the threads of the story of Nestor Castillo, "Beautiful Maria of My Soul" is expected to hit bookstores in 2009, while Hijuelos’s memoir is scheduled for release in 2010.
Photo credit: Dario Acosta