Thoughts without cigarettes : a memoir / Oscar Hijuelos.
Author: Hijuelos, Oscar.
Publisher: New York : Gotham Books, 2011.
ISBN: 9781592406296 (hardcover)
Description: xiv, : ill. ; 24 cm.
Subject: Hijuelos, Oscar.
Novelists, American 20th century Biography.
Contents: When I was still Cuban -- A few notes on my past -- Some moments of freedom -- Childhood ends -- Getting by -- My two selves -- My life on Madison Avenue -- Our house in the last world -- Roma -- Another book.
Summary: In his first work of nonfiction, the author writes about the people and places that inspired his previous novels. Born in Manhattan's Morningside Heights to Cuban immigrants in 1951, he introduces readers to the colorful circumstances of his upbringing. The son of a Cuban hotel worker and exuberant poetry-writing mother, his story, played out against the backdrop of an often-prejudiced working class neighborhood, takes on an even richer dimension when his relationship to his family and culture changes forever. During a sojourn in pre-Castro Cuba with his mother, he catches a disease that sends him into a Dickensian home for terminally ill children. The yearlong stay estranges him from the very language and people he had so loved. With a cast of characters whose stories are both funny and tragic, this work follows the author's subsequent quest for his true identity into adulthood, through college and beyond, a mystery whose resolution he eventually discovers hidden away in the trappings of his fiction.--From publisher description.