Cristina Henríquez

American writer

Cristina Henríquez is an American author.


  • I go into things thinking, it will be a short story. It’s easier. It’s not overwhelming, and I know I can do that in a few weeks or a few months. If I go in thinking novel, it feels so overwhelming. It just has to do with your natural stride as a writer. My natural stride is short story. I think in those components. It’s just me.
  • Look, immigration as a system, as a national policy, is broken. No one on either side of the debate needs me to tell them that. But that’s not what the novel is about. It’s about the human faces, the human stories, the human lives behind what for many people has become only an issue. As one of the characters says, “We’re the unknown Americans, the ones no one even wants to know, because they’ve been told they’re supposed to be scared of us and because maybe if they did take the time to get to know us, they might realize that we’re not that bad, maybe even that we’re a lot like them. And who would they hate then?”…
  • …It does seem to me that the way many people define “American” is limited, and that insofar as that’s the case, it’s usually limited to white America. But to me the very essence of America is that it’s as expansive and as inclusive as possible, and therefore the word “American” should encompass as many different kinds of people as possible, too.
  • …I also think I was wrestling with the issue of God in a very large, philosophical sort of way. I think if you’re a believer there’s a certain comfort in that. I’m trying to figure out if I’m a believer at this point; I’m not even sure. And so you’re just trying to wrestle with it, to pin it down for yourself. That just comes through somehow in the characters. The further I get into my career, the less autobiographical the stories are getting, though in a way they are more so. All of a sudden my preoccupations go into my work in a more forceful way, even though the characters, and the circumstances they find themselves in, are less like me.
  • I think to some degree, all politics is personal. It would be naïve of me to say I wrote a book just about immigrants and there's nothing political about it. As has been pointed out to me in the past, it's political to have the last name that I have. There's nothing that's not political…
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