Cristina Henríquez

Recent Press

Advance Praise for The Book of Unknown Americans
November 3, 2013

The Book of Unknown Americans is filled with the fiercest kinds of love—of a boy for a beautiful girl, of stricken parents for an injured daughter, of an immigrant community for an impossible America. In this powerful novel, Cristina Henríquez gives us unforgettable characters, whose destinies are shaped by forces—senseless, random, political—far beyond their control, and yet whose resilience yields a most profound and unexpected kind of beauty.”

Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being

“Wonderful. If most novels, or at least most good ones, are songs, then The Book of Unknown Americans is a choir. In a multiplicity of voices, each one distinct and authentic, Cristina Henríquez tells a whole community of stories, and the book that emerges is warm, wise, and unfailingly generous. It never seems to strive for profundity or grasp at poignancy, and yet page by page, as naturally as can be, it rouses the conscience and touches the heart.”

Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Brief History of the Dead and The Illumination

“Here is an important story about family, community and identity, told with elegance and compassion. The Book of Unknown Americans is unforgettable.”

Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins

“Some of the characters in The Book of Unknown Americans were born in the United States, others came as adults or were brought here from Central and South America. Their stories speak to us, involve us in their lives. They dream, meet challenges, and dare to live on hope. Sometimes they cry, but they also laugh, dance, make love. In this beautiful book, Cristina Henríquez introduces us to their vibrant lives, to heartbreaking choices, to the tender beginnings of love, and to the humanity in every individual. Unforgettable.”

Esmeralda Santiago, author of When I Was Puerto Rican and Conquistadora

“Cristina Henríquez’s novel is a triumph not just of storytelling, but of American storytelling, a novel whose breadth and power blow open any traditional definition of ‘American.’ Henríquez pulls us into the lives of her characters with such mastery that we hang onto them just as fiercely as they hang onto one another, and their dreams. This passionate, powerful novel will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page.”

Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Advance Praise for The World in Half
April 3, 2009

“In her powerful first novel The World in Half, Cristina Henríquez delivers a heartbreaking yet ultimately hopeful meditation on family, identity, love, and loss. She takes on the core issues of life with a sensitivity and relentlessness that very few writers can hope to match.”

Ben Fountain, author of Brief Encounters with Che Guevara

“Cristina Henríquez writes with great gentleness and compassion about bittersweet moments and painful events, about unlikely friendships and family secrets, about the answers we go searching for and the questions we discover. The World in Half is a beautifully told story set against a lush and dazzling backdrop, a celebration of hope and forgiveness, a delicate examination of the power of memory, and an all-out great read.”

Aryn Kyle, author of The God of Animals

“In The World in Half, Cristina Henríquez takes readers’ hands and leads them to a place where life-changing family secrets and memories are unearthed. This beautiful debut novel reminds us just how significant and powerful the stories of individuals—both those that unfold in the present and those rooted in the past—can be.”

Yiyun Li, author of The Vagrants

Advance Praise for Come Together, Fall Apart
April 6, 2006

“These stories, told in a direct and sparse style, are truly unforgettable. Cristina Henríquez’s young female protagonists are as haunting as the setting of Panama. I could not put aside this book.”

Isabel Allende

“How does a young writer gather the wisdom, heart, and tenderness to write stories of such exquisite humanity? I can only guess she is an ancient soul, a zen master, a bruja, or all of the above. However it’s done, I bow deeply and welcome this first collection.”

Sandra Cisneros

“This is no ordinary debut. In story after lyrical story, Cristina Henríquez challenges us to revisit the familiar terrain of love, family, and separation—and discover something new about ourselves. She writes with a rare delicacy and compassion. Her tales will lodge themselves deep in your heart.”

Cristina Garcia

“This is a very finely-tuned collection of stories. What strikes me most is its bravery—both political and emotional. Henríquez is a ventriloquist for contemporary Panama, one who recognizes the plight of the dispossessed and the forgotten. The language is tamped down just enough to make their stories sing—and what they sing of feels heartfelt, original and true. A striking new voice, full of empathy, detail and imagination.”

Colum McCann

“Cristina Henríquez writes stories of quiet violence and terrifying beauty. This is a truly exciting debut collection.”

Daniel Alarcón

“There’s a restlessness to these rich and passionate stories. It’s clear that they each needed to be told, and now they need to be read. Cristina Henríquez’s voice feels as real as the world she writes about.”

Oscar Casares

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