Birthplace: New York City
Oscar Hijuelos is the first Hispanic to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. A second-generation Cuban American, Hijuelos grew up in New York and earned a master's in creative writing from City College. In 1983 he published the novel Our House in the Last World, the first of his rich explorations of memory and family life. Hijuelos earned a Pulitzer for The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love (1989), the story of Cuban musicians in New York in the early 1950s, when Latin music first swept the United States. His fifth and novel, Empress of the Splendid Season, was published in 1999.