The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez

Start Your Free Trial

Download The Book of Unknown Americans Study Guide

Subscribe Now


The Book of Unknown Americans is a novel by American writer Cristina Henríquez, published in 2014. It tells the story of recent immigrants to the United States from Latin America.

Alma Rivera is the story's protagonist and the story is told, in part, from her first person perspective, though other characters share in the narration from chapter to chapter. A housewife from Michoacán, Mexico, she is the Rivera family matriarch who helps lead its emigration from Mexico to the United States in order to seek medical treatment for her daughter, Maribel. She is imbued with a pessimism borne by her experiences. Early in the story, she remarks that she had "assumed that everything that would go wrong in our lives already had."

Arturo, Alma's wife, once owned a construction business...

(The entire section is 262 words.)