The Reddie Read, Fall 2020 The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez
About the book
Arturo Rivera was the owner of a construction company in Pátzcuaro, México. One day, as his fifteen-year-old daughter, Maribel, is helping him at a work site, she sustains an injury that casts doubt on whether she’ll ever be the same again. And so, leaving all they have behind, the Riveras come to America with a single dream: that in this country of great opportunity and resources, Maribel can get better.
When Mayor Toro, whose family is from Panamà, sees Maribel in a Dollar Tree store, it is love at first sight. It’s also the beginning of a friendship between the Rivera and Toro families, whose web of guilt and love and responsibility is at this novel’s core.
Woven into their stories are the testimonials of men and women who have come to the United States from all over Central and Latin America. Their journeys and their voices will inspire you, surprise you, and break your heart.
Suspenseful, funny and warm, rich in spirit and humanity, The Book of Unknown Americans is a new American classic. (https://www.cristinahenriquez.com/)
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 10 Best Books of the Year. It was the Daily Beast Novel of the Year, a Washington Post Notable Book, an NPR Great Read, a Target Book of the Month selection, and was chosen one of the best books of the year by BookPage, Oprah.com, and School Library Journal. It was also longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.
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 Illinois. (https://www.cristinahenriquez.com/)
October 6, 2020:
Virtual Author Event with Cristina Henríquez
(in conversation with Henderson State student, Harley Whisenhunt)
7:00 p.m. on Zoom
Register in advance at bit.ly/reddiereadzoom.