The Book of Unknown Americans
From Library Staff
For those who want to see the world through different eyes, this story of love between a Panamanian boy and a Mexican girl living in an apartment building full of new immigrants explores what it means to be ‘other’.
July: If you think it's always simple economics that drives people to immigrate to this country from Latin America, think again. A wonderful look at the complexities of the modern immigrant experience through the lives of two families bound by deep regret, friendship and their love-struck teenag... Read More »
It's about the combined fates of immigrant families from all over Latin America living in an apartment complex in Delaware. Filled with family tragedy, deep regret and heartfelt teenage love- it's the kind of book that you read in a single sitting and finish at 1:00 am silently sobbing. The pai... Read More »
From the critics
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"There was only one word - you. It applied to all people. Everyone equal. No one higher or lower than anyone else. No one more distant or more familiar. You. They. Me. I. Us. We. There were no words that changed from feminine to masculine and back again depending on the speaker. A person from New York. Not a woman from New York, not a man from New York. Simply a person."
From Cristina Henriquez on tumblr (http://unknownamericans.tumblr.com/yourstory) "One of my hopes for The Book of Unknown Americans was that it might tell stories people don't usually hear. And now, another hope: that we will all tell our #UnknownAmerican stories. Where did you or your family come from? What is your life like now? We'll create a chorus and make our voices known.
Share your story. To share your story, submit a piece (400 words max) and an accompanying photo, either of yourself or the place you’re writing about, to:
Or, if you’re on Tumblr, blog your unknown americans story and tag it with #unknownamericans, and we will reblog you.
Any posted story will also be posted on Cristina Henriquez’s Facebook page.
Please note that not all stories that are submitted will be posted. "
"Back then, all we wanted was the simplest things: to eat good food, to sleep at night, to smile, to laugh, to be well." Cristina Henriquez, The Book of Unknown Americans, p.3
“You can come back one day. Or I could come there."
"I could find you."
"Finding is for the things that are lost. You don't need to find me, Mayor.”
― Cristina Henriquez, The Book of Unknown Americans
“It's in you,' my dad assured me once. 'You were born in Panamá. It's in your bones.'
You never know what life will bring...But that's what makes it so exciting, no? That's what keeps me going. The possibility.
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