NEW YORK, NY–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–Sept. 5, 2003–Rayo, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers announced today that it has acquired the rights to publish the autobiography of legendary salsa queen, Celia Cruz, titled “Celia,” written with Ana Cristina Reymundo, in collaboration with Cruz’s husband, Pedro Knight. Rene Alegria, Editorial Director of Rayo, negotiated the deal with the Cruz’s agent Alfredo G. Santana, her marketing director, Raymond Garcia and the Cruz’s personal manager, Omer Pardillo.
Based on over 500 hours of taped video and audio interviews, including some recorded just months before her death, this authorized, posthumous memoir will also include never before-published personal pictures, of Cruz touring the world and at home and with family—plus countless never-before-published personal anecdotes, letting fans celebrate a life filled with heartbreaking set-backs as well as glorious triumphs.
“It is with great pride that we bring into the world a book which captures the essence of one of the 20th century’s most iconic personalities. Celia inspired us all to smile and dance, no matter how tough the world seemed to get. Through a universal trajectory of hard work and faith, she proved over and over again that anything is possible, and inspired millions to do the same,” said Rene Alegria.
“Celia”–scheduled to be published simultaneously in English and Spanish to coincide with the first anniversary of her passing, in July 2004–will recount and reflect on the extraordinary life she lived. With the help of journalist Ana Cristina Reymundo, Cruz and her husband Pedro Knight offer a rare glimpse into their private lives. From her modest childhood in Cuba, to her exile years in Mexico and her remarkable career and life in America, the book will show Cruz as a spirited woman who comfortably lived a life full of contradiction. Cruz’s flamboyant costumes juxtaposed her simple and straightforward demeanor. She was open and accessible to her fans but staunchly private in her personal life. She was uninhibited without decadence; honest without offense; confident but not arrogant; and generous without fault.
For Latinos under seventy, there has never been a time without Celia Cruz. Her career spanned three generations–each one harboring fond memories of her timeless music. So deeply is she rooted into the collective Latin consciousness that her songs can be used as benchmarks to recall a certain time in someone’s life. Celia Cruz’s life has remained untold all these remarkable years, until “Celia.”
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