Twain & Stanley Enter Paradise, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Oscar Hijuelos, is a luminous work of fiction inspired by the real-life, 37-year friendship between two towering figures of the late 19th century, famed writer and humorist Mark Twain and legendary explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley.
"Dry, uninteresting and had no excitement in it"
Dark Dude captures New York City in the 1960s - violent, decaying, slouching away from the American dream - and brings to life a character who has no choice but to head out west in search of something better. But, when Rico and his ex-druggie friend arrive in Wisconsin, they discover that picket-fenced apple-pie people can be just as violent and judgmental as the neighbors they left behind.
In 1949 - when the dance rage is the mambo - two young Cuban musicians, recent immigrants, make their way up to the grand stage of New York. The Castillo brothers, workers by day, become night stars of the dance halls, where their orchestra plays the lush, sensuous, pulsing music that earns them the title of Mambo Kings.
"Poor production value"
The Pulitzer Prize-winning The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love is a contemporary American classic, a book that still captivates and inspires readers 20 years after its first publication. Now, in Beautiful María of My Soul, Oscar Hijuelos returns to this indelible story, to tell it from the point of view of its beloved heroine, María.
"So this is the Real Maria"
After buying a used copy of A Spaniard in the Works on an October evening in 1980, Victor Mercado, a 27-year-old clerk, had a chance encounter that would change his outlook forever: He met the book's author, John Lennon. It happened so quickly, though, that this struggling musician and Beatles fanatic didn't get to say the things he needed to say. What unfolds is a desperate search for Lennon, revealing big dreams, missed opportunities, and a quest for fulfillment.