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  • Oscar Jerome Hijuelos was an American-born novelist of Cuban descent. During a year-long convalescence from a childhood illness spent in a Connecticut hospital he lost his knowledge of Spanish, his parents' native language. He was educated in New York City, and wrote short stories and advertising copy. For his second novel, adapted for the movie The Mambo Kings, he became the first Hispanic to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Hijuelos died at age 62 in 2013 after collapsing with a heart attack while playing tennis in New York.

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