Cristina Henríquez

Recent Press

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.”


From the blogs
May 14, 2009

Praise for The World in Half from the blogosphere:

“Henriquez’s gifts for lyrical prose, complex characters and sharp dialogue shine in one of the year’s most moving and memorable novels.”
- Largehearted Boy

“[An] unbelievably good first novel…. This is a beautiful and poignant book that combines geology, Alzheimer’s, tragic star-crossed love, coming-of-age, and a search for a never-known father into one seamless whole that echoes in the heart and mind long after finishing the book and putting it away. Her characters live, and with all their flaws, we care about them and long for them to make the right decisions in their lives. Panama comes to life as vividly as one of the characters and impacts all of them. This is a young writer with great talent.”
- Linda Rodriguez Writes
(more…)


May 10, 2009

Praise for The World in Half:

“[G]racefully written…. Mira’s relationship with her mother is particularly well wrought. Henríquez’s writing is elegant…”


Washington Post Book World
April 26, 2009

Praise for The World in Half:

“Latin America is simultaneously desperate and hypnotic, and Henríquez gets this aspect of it exactly right…. The World in Half is engaging and touching.”


April 25, 2009

Praise for The World in Half:

“Henríquez reveals complex characters and themes that probe deeply into the fiber of human relationships and where we belong…. She is a clear, direct writer. But this isn’t a simple book. It is a well-written tale of a search for identity as a young woman tries to bridge two cultures that make her whole.”


Time Out New York
April 3, 2009

Praise for The World in Half:

“Henríquez’s restrained descriptions of a Panama listlessly hoping for better days draw the reader into a situation as complex as the famous canal figuratively cutting through the center of this book…. Like Junot Díaz, this author explores what happens when her protagonist closes the gap between her American and Latin American identities.”


Chicago Magazine

Praise for The World in Half:

“… a beautifully written tale…”


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