Reading Group Center

Cristina Henríquez Talks About Love, Home, and Why She Wants to Break Your Heart

At the center of Cristina Henríquez’s novel The Book of Unknown Americans is a classic story: two teenagers—Mayor and Maribel—fall in love and find in each other a sense of belonging that they’ve never known before. But theirs aren’t the only voices in Henríquez’s novel; woven into the main storyline are tales of immigrant men and women from all over Latin America, each with his or her own struggles, heartbreaks, and triumphs. The result is a book so rich and multilayered that we jumped at the chance to interview Henríquez and get her take on a few of the key themes. All three clips are fantastic, if we do say so ourselves, but the third clip is where she really surprised us! Take a look and see if you agree.






On the layered love story at the center of the novel:

“It’s a love story in so many different ways.”


On the concept of home in the novel: 

“Home is the place where your soul sighs.”


A response to a reader’s question:

“I wanted to break your heart.”