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Reading Programs, Resources, and Communities: The Book of Unknown Americans (Fall 2016)

About Cristina Henríquez

About the Author: 

Cristina Henríquez is the author of The Book of Unknown Americans, which was a New York Times Notable Book of 2014 and one of Amazon’s Top 10 Books of the Year. It was the Daily Beast Novel of the Year, a Washington Post Notable Book, an NPR Great Read, and was chosen one of the best books of the year by BookPage,, and School Library Journal. It was also longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.

Henriquez is also the author The World In Half (a novel), and Come Together, Fall Apart: A Novella and Stories, which was a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection.

Her stories have been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Glimmer Train, The American Scholar, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, and AGNI along with the anthology This is Not Chick Lit: Original Stories by America’s Best Women Writers.

Cristina’s non-fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Real Simple, The Oxford American, and Preservation as well as in the anthologies State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America and Thirty Ways of Looking at Hillary: Women Writers Reflect on the Candidate and What Her Campaign Meant.

She was featured in Virginia Quarterly Review as one of “Fiction’s New Luminaries,” has been a guest on National Public Radio, and is a recipient of the Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation Award, a grant started by Sandra Cisneros in honor of her father.

Cristina earned her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She lives in Chicago.

To find out more about Cristina Henríquez, visit the author's website at

Text from author's website; author photo: Michael Lionstar

Interviews with Cristina Henríquez


Scheduled events: 

  • Lecture by author Cristina Henríquez , Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 7:00-9:00pm, College Union Ballroom
  • Small group book discussions, Thursday, September 15, 2016, 11:30-1:00, varied locations


Find Additional Information

Search the library's book collection and article databases for more information on the history/culture/experiences of Latin Americans around the world.

You can also read more personal stories about the immigration experience at The Unknown Americans Project, created by author Cristina Henriquez.

Where the characters in the book come from

The characters in The Book of Unknown Americans traveled to the United States from various locations throughout Central and South America, including Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Guatemala, Venezuela, Paraguay, and Puerto Rico.