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Pulled between life at college and the needs of those she loves, Lizet is faced with difficult decisions that will change her life forever. Urgent and mordantly funny, Make Your Home Among Strangers tells the moving story of a young woman torn between generational, cultural, and political forces; it's the new story of what it means to be American today.

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Jennine Capó Crucet’s smart, scathing, and hilarious depiction of a Cuban-American girl at a fancy northeastern university is set in 1999 - and involves and Elián González-inspired subplot - but its incisive take on race and class makes it both urgently of-the-moment and destined to be a classic.
— Curtis Sittenfeld

Jennine Capó Crucet is the author of the novel Make Your Home Among Strangers, winner of the International Latino Book Award for Best Latino-themed Fiction and a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice.

Make Your Home Among Strangers has been adopted as a First Year Experience Read at dozens of universities around the country. When Lizet—the daughter of Cuban immigrants and the first in her family to graduate from high school—is secretly accepted to an ultra-elite college, her parents are furious at her decision to leave Miami. Just weeks before she's set to start school, her parents divorce and her father sells her childhood home, leaving Lizet, her mother, and Lizet's older sister scrambling for a place to live.

Amid this turmoil, Lizet begins her first semester at Rawlings College, but the privileged environment feels utterly foreign, as does her new awareness of herself as a minority. Struggling to cope, she returns to Miami for a surprise Thanksgiving visit, only to be overshadowed by the arrival of Ariel Hernandez, a young boy whose mother died fleeing with him from Cuba on a raft. The ensuing immigration battle puts Miami in a glaring spotlight, captivating the nation and entangling Lizet's entire family. Pulled between life at college and her family's needs, Lizet is faced with difficult decisions that will change her life forever. Urgent and mordantly funny, Make Your Home Among Strangers tells the new story of what it means to be American today.

Jennine’s story collection How to Leave Hialeah won the Iowa Short Fiction Prize, the John Gardner Book Award and the Devil's Kitchen Reading Award, and was named a Best Book of the Year by the Miami Herald, the Miami New Times, and the Latinidad List. A PEN/O. Henry Prize winner and a Bread Loaf Fellow, her writing has appeared in Guernica,  PloughsharesEpochThe Rumpus, Prairie Schooner, and other magazines. 

Originally from Miami, she is an assistant professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

Talks and Topics

  • First-Year Experience Common Read: Make Your Home Among Strangers

  • Community Reads Programming: Make Your Home Among Strangers

  • More coming soon!

Heartfelt . . . Being caught between two cultures is a usefully troubling condition for the writer intent on dramatizing the confusion, pain and humor of having what Crucet calls ‘double vision,’ and Crucet, the award-winning author of a story collection delivers on all three. Sharp cultural observations and terrific dialogue keep the reader engaged.
— NYT Book Review

Check Jennine’s Availability

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Previous & Upcoming Events:

  • Oct 25, 2018: University of Minnesota - First Year Experience Common Read

  • Sept 26, 2018: College of New Jersey - Summer Reading Program

  • Nov 16, 2017: Holy Names University - Common Reading

  • Oct 12, 2017: George Mason University - Mason Reads

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