Life on the Hyphen
The Cuban-American Way
254 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.80 in
Sales Date: May 1, 2012
An expanded, updated edition of the classic study of Cuban-American culture, this engaging book, which mixes the author’s own story with his reflections as a trained observer, explores how both famous and ordinary members of the “1.5 Generation” (Cubans who came to the United States as children or teens) have lived “life on the hyphen”—neither fully Cuban nor fully American, but a fertile hybrid of both. Offering an in-depth look at Cuban-Americans who have become icons of popular and literary culture—including Desi Arnaz, Oscar Hijuelos, musician Pérez Prado, and crossover pop star Gloria Estefan, as well as poets José Kozer and Orlando González Esteva, performers Willy Chirino and Carlos Oliva, painter Humberto Calzada, and others—Gustavo Pérez Firmat chronicles what it means to be Cuban in America.
The first edition of Life on the Hyphen won the Eugene M. Kayden National University Press Book Award and received honorable mentions for the Modern Language Association’s Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize and the Latin American Studies Association’s Bryce Wood Book Award.
- Preface to the Second Edition. The Facts of Life on the Hyphen
- Introduction. The Desi Chain
- Mambo No. 1: Lost in Translation
- Chapter One. I Love Ricky
- Mambo No. 2: Spic 'n' Spanish
- Chapter Two. The Man Who Loved Lucy
- Mambo No. 3: Desi Does It
- Chapter Three. A Brief History of Mambo Time
- Mambo No. 4: The Barber of Little Havana
- Chapter Four. Salsa for All Seasons
- Mambo No. 5: Mirror, Mirror
- Chapter Five. Rum, Rump, and Rumba
- Mambo No. 6: English Is Broken Here
- Chapter Six. No Man's Language
- Mambo No. 7: El mago de la ñ y el acento
- Chapter Seven. The Spell of the Hyphen
- Epilogue. My Repeating Island
The publication of Life on the Hyphen was made possible by the support of the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Endowment in Latin American and Latino Art and Culture.