The award-winning novel The Book Of Unknown Americans: A Novel by Cristina Henriquez is the book selected for Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2016. The community is invited to read and discuss this stunning novel of hopes and dreams, guilt and love—a book that offers a resonant new definition of what it means to be American.
The author, Cristina Henriquez, will make a special appearance at Washtenaw Community College on Tuesday, February 23 to discuss “The Book Of Unknown Americans.” Doors will open at 6 PM. The event includes a book signing and books will be for sale courtesy of Nicola's Books.
Henríquez is also the author of the story collection Come Together, Fall Apart, which was a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection, and the novel The World in Half. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The American Scholar, Glimmer Train, Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, AGNI, and Oxford American, as well as in various anthologies.
The Book Of Unknown Americans centers on fifteen-year-old Maribel Rivera, who sustains a terrible injury. Her family leaves behind a comfortable life in Mexico and risks everything to come to the United States so that Maribel can have the care she needs. Once they arrive, it’s not long before Maribel attracts the attention of Mayor Toro, the son of one of their new neighbors, who sees a kindred spirit in this beautiful, damaged outsider. Their love story sets in motion events that will have profound repercussions for everyone involved.
Henríquez seamlessly interweaves the story of these star-crossed lovers, and of the Rivera and Toro families, with the testimonials of men and women who have come to the United States from all over Latin America.
Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads is coordinated by several area organizations, including the Ann Arbor District Library, the Ypsilanti District Library, Washtenaw Intermediate School District, Nicola’s Books, Barnes & Noble, Literati Bookstore, Eastern Michigan University, the University of Michigan, Washtenaw Community College, and many others.
For more information and resources related to Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads, please visit the program's website at aareads.org
Photo credit(at left): Michael Lionstar