Cristina Henríquez


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The publication of her third book, the acclaimed The Book of Unknown Americans, brought Iowa Writers’ Workshop alum Cristina Henríquez to Iowa City for her first reading at Prairie Lights in 2014. This Writers On the Fly interview was recorded at the bookstore.

Henríquez reveals that The Book of Unknown Americans is the least autobiographical of her books. “People seem somewhat disappointed by that answer for some reason,” she says.

She also discusses how her two children changed her writing regimen, the value of rereading her favorite works (including Junot Díaz’s Drown), and her thankfulness for copy editors. She expresses interest in pursuing more formal inventiveness in future work, discusses her time in the Workshop, and considers the nature of writers and their pursuit of an individual aesthetic.

In addition to The Book of Unknown Americans, Henríquez is the author of The World In Half, and Come Together, Fall Apart: A Novella and Stories, which was a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection.