Cristina Henríquez

Recent Press

USA Today review
July 13, 2014

A nice review in USA Today. “[T]hrough Henríquez’s unadorned prose, these immigrants’ struggles ring clear, their voices rising above that din of political debate.”


New York Times review
July 10, 2014

The Book of Unknown Americans gets a great review from Michiko Kakutani in the New York Times.

Review in the Washington Post
June 25, 2014

“‘The Book of Unknown Americans’ is a deeply stirring story about a budding romance between two unlikely lovers, but it is also a ringing paean to love in general: to the love between man and wife, parent and child, outsider and new­comer, pilgrims and promised land. With a simple, unadorned prose that, in the end, rises to the level of poetry, Henríquez achieves the seemingly impossible: Without a trace of sentimentality, without an iota of self-indulgence or dogma, she tells us about coming to America.”

from The Washington Post

Review in San Francisco Chronicle

“In allowing individual voices to testify about their own lives, Henríquez has found a gripping, memorable way to open up complex topics – discrimination, love and grief in family life, and the experiences of being displaced or feeling at home. In weaving the longer stories of the Riveras and Toros through these testimonies, she fully embodies her complicated, touching characters, so that ‘The Book of Unknown Americans’ becomes a novel that can both make you think and break your heart.”

from the San Francisco Chronicle

Review from Pure Wow

A review from Pure Wow. “Part love story, part immigrant manifesto, Henríquez’s novel artfully weaves together narratives often relegated to the outskirts of society. (In punchy interchapters, she adopts the voices of other building residents–men and women who hail from Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua and Paraguay.) … But her most accomplished task is getting us to care so deeply for her characters. Their triumphs are your triumphs. Their losses break your heart.”

Review in The Dallas Morning News

“If you read only one more book about the immigrant experience, make it this one.”

from The Dallas Morning News

Starred review in Booklist
April 9, 2014

“On a cold, bewildering night, the Riveras, who have just left their happy lives in Mexico, are dropped off at a dilapidated apartment building [in] Delaware. Alma Rivera worries about their beautiful 15-year-old daughter, Maribel, who has suffered a brain injury; her parents have sacrificed everything to send her to a special school. Their building turns out to be a sanctuary; as the Riveras’ dramatic tale unfolds, Henríquez brings their generous neighbors forward to tell the compelling stories of why and how they left Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, and Paraguay. As one man says, ‘We are the unknown Americans,’ those who are feared and hated. As Maribel opens up to the infatuated boy next-door, terror of the unknown becomes a tragic force. Each scene, voice, misunderstanding, and alliance is beautifully realized and brimming with feeling in the acclaimed Henríquez’s compassionately imagined, gently comedic, and profoundly wrenching novel of big dreams and crushing reality, courageous love and unfathomable heartbreak.” —Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred)

Library Journal review

“Spectacular . . . highly believable and poignant . . . A well-written story set among ‘unknown Americans,’ ostensibly Hispanic but in many ways any family adjusting to a new culture and way of life, regardless of ethnicity.” —Library Journal

Publisher’s Weekly on The Book of Unknown Americans

“Evoking a profound sense of hope, Henríquez delivers a moving account of those who will do anything to build a future for their children—even if it means confronting the fear and alienation lurking behind the American dream.”
—Publishers Weekly

February 17, 2010

Carolyn Alessio reviews The World in Half just in time for the paperback release, calling the book “hypnotic.”

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