“The Book of Unknown Americans” by Cristina Henriquez has been selected for the University of Idaho’s Common Read for 2020-21.
Henriquez will participate in a digital community conversation Oct. 20 as part of a keynote address, according to a news release from the university.
The 2014 novel follows a Mexican family and their daughter, Maribel Riveria, who immigrate to the U.S. for a new beginning after Maribel sustains a brain injury in an accident. They relocate to Delaware, where there’s a reputable school for developmentally disabled kids. There, Maribel meets and falls in love with a Panamanian teenager, Mayor Toro, who lives in the same apartment building. Their relationship creates a series of events with repercussions for everyone involved.
Copies of “The Book of Unknown Americans” will be available later this spring through the VandalStore and BookPeople of Moscow.
In the release, Dean Panttaja, UI’s director of general education said the committee of students, faculty and community members “were both engaged and moved by Ms. Henriquez’s novel and the journey of her characters seeking community and citizenship.”
“The Book of Unknown Americans” also was selected as a New York Times Notable Book of 2014 and one of Amazon’s Top 10 Books of the Year.
The Common Read at the university is in its 13th year, and the book will be assigned to freshmen students as part of their first year studies.
— Inland 360