Chicagoan Cristina Henriquez recently released “The Book of Unknown Americans,” a story about the contemporary immigrant experience. Focused on people who are often viewed only as labels (stereotypes), Henriquez endeavors to re-define what it means to be American.
With the exception of Native Americans, much of the U.S. population derives their roots from across the Atlantic. The story of Arturo and Alma Rivera, and their daughter Maribel, is one shared by many who have arrived in America seeking better opportunities. The Riveras share concerns common to the immigrant experience, including language barriers, maintaining visa status, finding employment, and abuse from those who don’t accept them as Americans.
“Although very little of my work is biographical, details from my life do make it into my stories,” said Henriquez. For example, Henriquez was born in Delaware, the setting for the Riveras’ story. When asked about advice for young Latinos, Henriquez declined to give specific direction. “We all have to find our way in life,” she said. A graduate of Northwestern University, one might say that Henriquez has found her way. “The Book of Unknown Americans” was named O Magazine’s Book of the Week in July, and The Los Angeles Times named Henriquez one of their 2014 Faces to Watch.
A beautiful blending of the immigrant experience and family love, as well as a budding teen romance, the book is classified as adult fiction, but is a must read for teenagers as well.
The book is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other outlets. For more information, visit: www.cristinahenriquez.com. Additionally, a Spanish version of the book published by Vintage Español is available at http://amzn.to/UOh9y0.
This post is also available in: Spanish
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