Widow of Pulitzer Winner Getting His Books Reissued

She acquired rights to works by 'Mambo Kings' author Oscar Hijuelos
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 24, 2022 2:19 PM CDT
Widow of Pulitzer Winner Getting His Books Reissued
The late Oscar Hijuelos, pictured here in 2000.   (AP Photo/Stephen J. Boitano, File)

(Newser) – From the moment the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Oscar Hijuelos died in 2013, at age 62, his wife Lori Carlson-Hijuelos has been on a quest to make sure he wasn't forgotten. “Every day this has been my mission,” she said Thursday upon the announcement by Grand Central Publishing that new paperback editions of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love and other titles by Hijuelos, the first Hispanic to win the Pulitzer for fiction, will be published over a two-year period starting in 2023, per the AP.

Mambo Kings, his debut book and winner of the Pulitzer in 1990, will be reissued in October 2023. Other Hijuelos paperbacks scheduled include Beautiful Maria of My Soul, Our House in the Last World, and Empress of the Splendid Season. This fall, Mambo Kings will also be among the Hijuelos books available in a single hardcover volume from the Library of America, an unofficial canon maker that has re-issued works by authors ranging from Mark Twain to Susan Sontag.

Hijuelos had numerous publishers, including Grand Central, in his lifetime and several of his books fell out of print. Carlson-Hijuelos says she spent years re-acquiring the rights to his work in hopes they could be reissued in an organized way. “It may seem to the world like nothing was happening with Oscar over the years, but I was waking up every single day to get his rights so I could achieve this fantastic event,” she said. (Read more books stories.)

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