Oscar Hijuelos

American novelist

Oscar Jerome Hijuelos (August 24, 1951 – October 12, 2013) was an American novelist of Cuban descent.

Oscar Hijuelos

Quotes edit

  • My advice to me back then is: Beware of people bearing gifts. When you have la fama [fame], people come out of the woodwork who are supposedly looking out after you. There's an old blues song that goes, "She's got a mouth full of gimme and a hand full of much obliged," and basically that's it. Unless you have guidance, it's a hard world to experience, but it has its perks.
  • My take on Cuba is partly memory-bound, partly melancholic. I read this interesting thing about the word "nostalgia," which is often used about my writing: that it comes from a term ship doctors used to describe a disease when sailors had been out to sea for a few years and were getting homesick. I've always had that, in terms of writing, this thing that is physical,that makes you homesick. For me it is a home that I never really knew and have always seen partly through literature and the great Cuban writers. My writing about Cuba [is] more like an act of creation. Whatever my Cuba is about, it's my own version. I'm not a cultural anthropologist.
  • “My father was – well he had a work ethic and a half. Contrary to popular stereotypes, most Latinos I knew growing up had very strong work ethics. He was also a very kindly man, and…gentle, very soft-spoken. And I think to a certain extent, very shy. And I think I inherited that from him, which has made the fact that I have to get out every now and then, and actually be somebody in front of people without getting terrible stage fright, which I used to get all the time. You know it took me a long time to get over that hump.

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