Voices from an Unseen America

Cristina Henríquez’s novels use powerful stories from immigrants to examine concepts of identity and belonging.
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Cristina Henriquez discusses themes found in The Book of Unknown Americans, offering a resonant new definition of what it means to be American.

Program Topics

  • The Overlooked American

    The word “immigrant” is loaded with stereotypes and myths, and the media perpetuates the most commonly accepted narratives. But what can we learn from the stories that aren’t amplified? In this talk, Cristina celebrates the immigrant experience, proving that extraordinary stories can be found in overlooked places.

  • Navigating a Dual Identity

    Who am I? This is the question Cristina and many other first-generation Americans ponder, and it’s a question with few easy answers. In discussing how her half-Panamanian, half-American background shaped her own identity, she encourages audiences to reflect on the way that their history shapes their lives and in doing so build organizations that accommodate team members of all backgrounds.

The Book of Unknown Americans

Named a New York Times and Washington Post Notable Book, an NPR Great Read, The Daily Beast‘s Novel of the Year, and a Mother Jones, Oprah.com, School Library Journal, and BookPage Best Book of the Year, The Book of Unknown Americans sees Henríquez seamlessly interweaving the story of star-crossed lovers with the testimonials of men and women who have come to the United States from all over Latin America. The Book of Unknown Americans is a stunning novel of hopes and dreams, guilt and love—a book that offers a resonant new definition of what it means to be American.

Available as paperback, eBook, and unabridged audiobook. 
304 pages; March 3, 2015


The Book of Unknown Americans

“Vivid . . . . Striking. . . . A ringing paean to love in general: to the love between man and wife, parent and child, outsider and newcomer, pilgrims and promised land.”

The Washington Post

“Gripping, memorable. . . . A novel that can both make you think and break your heart.”

San Francisco Chronicle
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Cristina Henríquez will engage and challenge your team members to reflect on their identity in their work and lives. Contact us to learn more about her program.