Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Cristina Henriquez  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Romance

Audience: Adult;


-- Website --
-- Cristina Henriquez on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Henríquez earned her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University. She lives in a western suburb of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Cristina Henríquez's stories have been published in ''The New Yorker'', ''The Atlantic'', ''Glimmer Train'', ''Ploughshares'', ''TriQuarterly'', and ''AGNI'' along with the anthology ''This is Not Chick Lit: Original Stories by America’s Best Women Writers''.Cristina’s non-fiction has appeared in ''The New Yorker'', ''The Oxford American'', and ''Preservation'' as well as in the anthologies ''State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America'' and ''Thirty Ways of Looking at Hillary: Women Writers Reflect on the Candidate and What Her Campaign Meant''.She was featured in ''Virginia Quarterly Review'' as one of “Fiction’s New Luminaries,” has been a guest on National Public Radio, and is a recipient of the Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation Award, a grant started by Sandra Cisneros in honor of her father.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Come Together, Fall Apart
ISBN: 1594482411

Riverhead Books. 2007

These eight short stories and novella travel from Panama's dusty city streets to its humid beaches to create an affecting portrait of a country in transition. They illustrate family bonds and generational conflicts, youthful infatuation and genuine passion. Tender, ambitious, bold, and unflinching, they herald the arrival of a fresh, exciting, and lavishly talented new voice in American literature.

The World in Half
ISBN: 1594484392

Riverhead Books. 2010

Now in paperback, the "beautiful" (Chicago Sun-Times) novel from the prizewinning author of Come Together, Fall Apart.

Miraflores never knew her father, and never thought he wanted to know her. But when she returns to the Chicago suburb where she grew up to care for her ailing mother, she discovers that her mother and father were greatly in love, and that her father had wanted a daughter more than she could have imagined. Now, Miraflores secretly plots a trip to Panama, in search of the man she hopes can heal her mother-and who can help her find the pieces of her own identity. What she finds is unexpected, exhilarating, and holds the power to change the course of her life.

The Book of Unknown Americans: A novel
ISBN: 0385350848

Knopf. 2014

“A triumph of storytelling. Henríquez pulls us into the lives of her characters with such mastery that we hang on to them just as fiercely as they hang on to one another and their dreams. This passionate, powerful novel will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page.” —Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

A boy and a girl who fall in love. Two families whose hopes collide with destiny. An extraordinary novel that offers a resonant new definition of what it means to be American.

Arturo and Alma Rivera have lived their whole lives in Mexico. One day, their beautiful fifteen-year-old daughter, Maribel, sustains a terrible injury, one that casts doubt on whether she’ll ever be the same. And so, leaving all they have behind, the Riveras come to America with a single dream: that in this country of great opportunity and resources, Maribel can get better.

When Mayor Toro, whose family is from Panama, sees Maribel in a Dollar Tree store, it is love at first sight. It’s also the beginning of a friendship between the Rivera and Toro families, whose web of guilt and love and responsibility is at this novel’s core.

Woven into their stories are the testimonials of men and women who have come to the United States from all over Latin America. Their journeys and their voices will inspire you, surprise you, and break your heart.

Suspenseful, wry and immediate, rich in spirit and humanity, The Book of Unknown Americans is a work of rare force and originality.


Come Together, Fall Apart

  • Editors' Choice selection, New York Times
  • The Book of Unknown Americans

  • Notable Book, New York Times
  • Notable Book, Washington Post
  • Great Read, NPR
  • Novel of the Year, The Daily Beast
  • Best Book of the Year, Mother Jones
  • Best Book of the Year,
  • Best Book of the Year, School Library Journal
  • Best Book of the Year, BookPage
  • ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2017
  • Other Awards

  • Fiction New Luminary, Virginia Quarterly Review
  • Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation Award

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (No)