Cristina Henríquez is an American author of literary fiction novels. Her writing has appeared in such publications as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Glimmer Train, The American Scholar, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, and AGNI. Her novel The Book of Unknown Americans was a New York Times Notable Book of 2014 and one of Amazon’s 10 Best Books of the Year. Other accolades it received were the Daily Beast Novel of the Year, Washington Post Notable Book, NPR Great Read, Target Book of the Month selection, and was named a best book of the year by BookPage,, and School Library Journal.

Cristina Henríquez made her debut as a novelist in 2009 with The World in Half. Below is a list of Cristina Henríquez’s books in order of when they were originally published:

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The World in Half (2009)Description / Buy at
The Book of Unknown Americans (2014)Description / Buy at
The Great Divide (2024)Description / Buy at

Publication Order of Collections

Come Together, Fall Apart (2006)Description / Buy at

Publication Order of Currency Books

Me and Carlos (By: Tom Perrotta) (2020)Description / Buy at
The Tomorrow Box (By: Curtis Sittenfeld) (2021)Description / Buy at
The Summer House (2021)Description / Buy at
Crewelwork (By: Justin Torres) (2021)Description / Buy at
Rewards (By: Emma Cline) (2021)Description / Buy at
Simplexity (By: Kiley Reid) (2021)Description / Buy at
I Would Be Doing This Anyway (By: Jia Tolentino) (2021)Description / Buy at
If You Are Lonely and You Know It (By: Yiyun Li) (2021)Description / Buy at

If You Like Cristina Henríquez Books, You’ll Love…

Cristina Henríquez Synopses: The World in Half is the debut novel of author Cristina Henríquez. Miraflores embarks on a deeply personal journey to uncover the truth about her father and her own identity. Despite growing up without him and believing he never wanted to know her, she learns that her parents shared a profound love that extends beyond what she ever imagined. As she cares for her ailing mother in their Chicago suburb, Miraflores discovers the depth of her parents’ connection and begins to yearn for the relationship she missed out on with her father.

Driven by a desire to heal her mother and reclaim the missing pieces of her own identity, Miraflores sets out on a clandestine trip to Panama in search of her father. What she discovers there is beyond her wildest expectations—a revelation that promises to reshape her understanding of herself and her place in the world.

As Miraflores delves deeper into her family’s past and confronts the truths she’s long avoided, she finds herself on a transformative journey of self-discovery and reconciliation. The encounter with her father holds the power to unlock new possibilities and set her life on an entirely new trajectory.

The Book of Unknown Americans is a standalone title by Cristina Henríquez. In this poignant and powerful novel, Arturo and Alma Rivera make the difficult decision to uproot their lives in Mexico and move to America in search of better opportunities for their daughter, Maribel, who has suffered a severe injury. The family’s hopes and dreams hinge on the possibility of Maribel receiving the care and support she needs to recover.

Their arrival in America brings them into contact with Mayor Toro, whose family hails from Panama. When Mayor first lays eyes on Maribel in a Dollar Tree store, he feels an instant connection to her. This chance encounter sparks a deep friendship between the Riveras and Toros, as both families navigate the complexities of guilt, love, and responsibility.

As the intertwined lives of the two families unfold, the novel delves into themes of immigration, identity, and the pursuit of the American Dream. Through the eyes of its characters, it offers a profound exploration of what it means to be American and the enduring power of love and hope in the face of adversity.

The Great Divide by Cristina Henríquez is a standalone novel. In the backdrop of the monumental undertaking of building the Panama Canal, the lives of Francisco, Omar, Ada, and John intertwine in unexpected ways, each driven by their own hopes, fears, and desires.

Francisco, a local fisherman, grapples with his son Omar’s decision to work in the excavation zone, resenting the foreign influence encroaching on his country. For Omar, however, the job represents an opportunity for connection and purpose in a life marked by loneliness.

Ada, a bold teenager from Barbados, arrives in Panama seeking work to fund her sister’s medical treatment. When she comes to Omar’s aid after a grueling shift, her act of compassion catches the attention of John Oswald, a scientist dedicated to eradicating malaria. Seeing Ada’s potential, John hires her as a caregiver for his ill wife, Marian.

As these characters navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by their circumstances, their paths converge in a tale of ambition, loyalty, and sacrifice against the backdrop of one of the greatest engineering feats in history. The Panama Canal becomes not only a symbol of human ingenuity but also a stage where personal struggles and triumphs play out amidst the backdrop of monumental historical change.

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