Cuban-American novelist Oscar Hijuelos, who became the first Latino author to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, died on Saturday in Manhattan, the New York Times reports. According to his wife Lori Marie Carlson, Hijuelos collapsed on a tennis court and never regained consciousness. He was 62 years old.
His best-known work, the 1989 novel The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, centered on two brothers, both musicians, who move to New York from Cuba in the early 50s. One of those brothers, Cesar Castillo, looks back on his life, the high point of which was an appearance on I Love Lucy. The novel contains themes of the immigrant experience that Hijuelos later revisited in works such as A Simple Habana Melody and The Fourteen Sisters of Emilio Montez O’Brien. Mambo Kings was adapted for screen in 1992 and then as a stage musical in 2005.