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The Book of Unknown Americans

by

Cristina Henríquez

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The Unknown and The American Dream Theme Analysis

Themes and Colors
The Unknown and The American Dream Theme Icon
Longing Theme Icon
Isolation vs. Community Theme Icon
Futility, Chance, and Loss Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Book of Unknown Americans, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
The Unknown and The American Dream Theme Icon

The American Dream—the idea that in America everyone, regardless of race, creed, or class, can enjoy prosperity, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—is a driving force in the lives of the characters in Cristina Henríquez’s The Book of Unknown Americans. The pursuit of the American dream offers, in theory, the chance not just to be safe and sheltered in the United States, but also to be seen, known, and accepted. However, as Henríquez’s characters—almost all immigrants from South and Central America, who occupy the same bustling apartment complex—make their new lives in the United States, they each find that the myth of the American dream does not offer quite what they thought it would. As Henríquez’s characters reckon with realizing that they are—and perhaps always will be—the “unknown” Americans, they struggle to accept that the reality of American opportunity is different from the myth of being recognized and embraced—the reality of the American dream is struggle, uncertainty, and unknowability.

Arturo and Alma Rivera come from México in an attempt to heal their brain-injured daughter, Maribel. Rafael and Celia Toro left Panamá with their small children, Enrique and Mayor, to escape the horrors of war. Others in the apartment building departed their home countries in search of fortune and fame. All of Henríquez’s characters are chasing something to the United States—and few of them ever really find it. Some are able to accomplish a version of their dreams and experience, to some degree, the feeling of being seen—once Broadway-bound, the dejected Nelia Zafón opens a small theater of her own in Delaware; Benny Quinto, who dreamed of striking it rich and turned to dealing drugs in order to do so, realized that a life of safety and temperance was more appealing than one of high risks for high rewards. However, huge roadblocks still stand between these characters and the achievement of the dreams they set out to make a reality. Prejudice, discrimination, cultural and linguistic barriers, and the cruel realization that the American dream is a fantasy deepen the feeling of being “unknown,” and Henríquez forces her characters to reckon head-on with their disappointment and frustration.

The word “unknown” means a lot of different things within the context of this novel. The characters in it are unknown within the country they have worked so hard to be able to call home—but they are also, in large part, unknown to themselves and to each other. Their futures, too, are unknown, and on top of everything, the longer they stay in America the more unknown they become to the people from their pasts. When the Toros save up for a trip home to Panama, Rafael’s friend tells him, over the phone a few days before the journey, that Rafael is no longer Panamanian but is now “gringo royalty.” Hurt and furious, Rafael cancels the trip. José Mercado, a Puerto Rican Navy man with the soul of a poet, enlisted in the military as a young man as a proud service member in order to please his father and feel a connection to his country. Pursuing his vision of what it means to be an American, though, has taken a toll on both his physical and emotional well-being, and José now, in his old age, feels more unknown than ever before.

1.Actuary
roman浪漫+tic表形容词,通常放在一个名词前,“与…相关的,…的”→浪漫的
Her predecessor David Cameron placed fifth in CNNMoney's previous ranking in March 2015 with his salary of £142,500, then worth $214,800. May is only seventh.
4)我来搞定它:你专心致志地听别人说话。然后你说,“轻松一点,别担心。我会亲自搞定它的。”这样的承诺会让所有人都放松下来。如果想要做出更大的承诺,你就可以说,“我向你保证。”这样的表态会让你看起来更可靠。在对方眼里,你已经进入角色,并且会尽一切努力去完成的。
Among dozens of small, technology-focused acquisitions, the $3bn purchase of Beats Electronics, the celebrity-endorsed headphones and music streaming service, stands out as Apple’s largest ever deal. The acquisition still bemuses many Apple analysts, but in Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre, Beats’ founders, Mr Cook has instantly regained credibility with the music industry after years of neglecting the iTunes download store. If Mr Cook is guilty of missing the rapid growth of subscription services such as Spotify, he has moved swiftly to compensate for it — though for a high price.
However, you know when your cycles are over when the washer and dryer stop making noise. And you know when the weather is ugly by simply looking outside, or checking your weather app. Therefore, the product is basically just another way hackers can get into your home.
节目39 歌曲《冬天里的一把火》,吴克群 《梦想合唱团》宁波队
Guangdong has cemented its position as the country's largest provincial economy for the 28th consecutive year, with its gross domestic product (GDP) exceeding 7.9 trillion yuan in 2016.
Gongloff piles on the bad news about 2014: GDP 'grew at a 1.8% annualized pace in the first quarter ... revising down its earlier estimate of 2.4% growth ... The first quarter's dismal growth was at least better than the 0.4% GDP growth of the fourth quarter of 2012. But it was still far from healthy, and economists don't see it getting much stronger any time soon.' And that's real bad news for the markets going into 2014.

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The Unknown and The American Dream Quotes in The Book of Unknown Americans

Below you will find the important quotes in The Book of Unknown Americans related to the theme of The Unknown and The American Dream.
Chapter 1: Alma Quotes

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he wants to develop better ties with the United States no matter who wins next year's U.S. presidential election.
上周,希拉里的竞选团队负责人约翰·波德斯塔表示,希拉里很可能会挑选一名女性作为她的副总统获选人。很快有人猜测,为了吸引女性选民,她的竞选伙伴很可能是马萨诸塞州参议员伊莉莎白·华伦。她是一名非常受女性欢迎的、激进的参选者。
St. Vincent “Digital Witness” (Loma Vista/Republic)
Promote all-round economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological progress
单词slew 联想记忆:
201012/122342.shtml

Related Characters: Alma Rivera (speaker)
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3: Rafael Toro Quotes

infinite
“As long as overall markets remain relatively constructive and transactions continue to be executed well, we continue to expect healthy volumes over the rest of the year,” said David Ludwig, head of Americas equity capital markets at Goldman Sachs.
5. The 2012 Ig Nobel Chemistry Prize
温莎王朝的非官方座右铭“永不抱怨,永不解释”到底可信不可信?
这是乔布斯从2000年6月到2008年9月的照片合集,显示了他健康状况的巨大变化。
“We do things for other reasons than a profit motive, we do things because they are right and just,” Mr Cook growled. Whether in human rights, renewable energy or accessibility for people with special needs, “I don’t think about the bloody ROI,” Mr Cook said, in the same stern, uncompromising tone that Apple employees hope they never have to hear. “Just to be very straightforward with you, if that’s a hard line for you?.?.?.?then you should get out of the stock.”
It organized two large-scale inspections last year, involving more than 5,300 batches of imported consumer goods, such as air purifiers, car brake blocks, household electrical appliances and clothes, with more than 1,500 found to be substandard, Han said.
Though bionic legs are of course a huge boon to amputees, they lack actual nerve connections with the body. As a result, walking on them is cumbersome and tiring. But last year, Seattle resident Zac Vawter was outfitted with the world's first thought-controlled leg, a bionic limb that takes signals directly from his mind.
但与其他世界主要国家领导人相比,这薪酬已经是最高了。
科学院说:“今年的诺奖关注的是经济学的一个中心问题:如何尽可能适当地匹配不同市场主体。”

Related Characters: Rafael “Rafa” Toro (speaker), Celia Toro
Page Number: 23
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4: Alma Quotes

发展最迅速的初创公司往往具有全球化的视野。未来一年,美国总统特朗普已经实施的移民限制,以及英国作为退欧的一部分而在考虑的限制措施,可能会对企业招聘形成障碍。
PRRI研究总监丹尼尔-考克斯说,一些受访者(包括75%的非白人新教徒)相信恶劣天气既是末日论的证据,也是气候变化的结果。
IE’s alumni have the second-highest average salary increase following graduation, at 39 per cent. The school is ranked first for aims achieved and for international mobility. It is third for career progress. “There is a definite ‘before and after’ for career progression,” says one former student. “Post-MBA I felt I had more of a sense of direction not only of where I wanted to be, but also why, and how to make it happen.”
6. Smart refrigerator

建材家居景气指数:房地产低迷冲击 建材家居市场预期走低

周四,央视公布了2016猴年春晚的吉祥物后,就迅速成为互联网上的热议话题。不幸的是,不少网友称被其“丑哭”。
turkey
To Rouslan Krechetnikov and Hans Mayer for studying the dynamics of liquid-sloshing, to learn what happens when a person walks while carrying a cup of coffee. I'll give you a hint: it happens between step 7 and 10.
She was also recognised for being the youngest recipient of the Ripple of Hope Award from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for her charity work.

Related Characters: Alma Rivera (speaker), Arturo Rivera (speaker), Maribel Rivera
Page Number: 27
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7: Alma Quotes

此外,菲亚特一款引擎不仅首次进入《沃兹汽车》十大引擎榜单,而且还是一款电动发动机,这就是起亚500E所使用的83千瓦发动机。遗憾的是,该车只在加利福尼亚州发售,但是如果汽油价格上涨至每加仑4.00美元大关或以上,市场力量可能说服这家汽车生产商进行更大范围的分销。
Gitanjali Rao was selected from 10 finalists who had spent three months collaborating with scientists to develop their ideas.
Until four years ago, Maddie was an unknown eight year old who enjoyed dancing and went to a local primary school.
英国气象办公室哈德莱中心(UK Met Office's Hadley Centre)气候监测与分析的负责人彼得斯托特(Peter Stott)表示,人为造成的气候变化是升温的罪魁祸首,导致世界进入“未知领域”。哈德莱中心发布的研究报告也印证了美国研究人员的分析结果。
If the oldest man ever elected president can “tweet like a kindergartner,” why not flip the script and see if a youngster can be elected to office and govern wisely?
China's movie box office revenue grew 9 percent to $8.9 billion (RMB 60.98 billion) in 2018.
去年,中国工商银行的每股盈利为0.77元人民币,低于上一年的0.78元人民币,税前每股分红为0.2333元人民币,低于上一年的0.2554元人民币。
格陵兰鲨活得很久
urban

Related Characters: Alma Rivera (speaker)
Page Number: 60
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8: Mayor Quotes

今年获得奥斯卡提名的音乐人将会齐聚一堂登上奥斯卡颁奖典礼的舞台。

Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Wuhan and Nanjing have been ranked as the top five cities for opportunity in China, according to a report jointly launched by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the China Development Research Foundation.
赫洛维兹承认,他这样做时不得不小心翼翼,以保存这部间谍小说的首位作者伊恩·弗莱明(Ian Fleming)所创造的007的个性和态度。弗莱明于1964年逝世。
Personal per capita disposable income increased by 6.3 percent in real terms.
粮食指数下滑约3%。
首先,Bitstamp遭遇黑客袭击,以及2011年黑客袭击比特币交易平台Mt. Gox(此次黑客袭击要严重得多,其损失当时约合4亿美元),往往被误解为比特币本身存在安全问题。但事实上,这只能表明上述比特币交易平台存在缺陷,而非比特币技术本身存在问题。而最令人激动的,正是比特币背后的底层技术。正如《财富》杂志2015年1月刊《打造未来》系列报道中所写,大部分极为看好比特币、为其大声疾呼的狂热粉丝(包括马克o安德森这样的大牌企业家,也包括花大把时间更新比特币REDDIT页面的开发者和比特币“矿工”),更感兴趣的是能建立在比特币“区块”(该货币基本骨架)上的应用,而非比特币货币体系。两个实体间可通过“区块”安全交换任何形式的价值。

Related Characters: Mayor Toro (speaker), Rafael “Rafa” Toro (speaker)
Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12: Quisqueya Solís Quotes

The names of some of these public Facebook groups, Mic reported, were "Harvard Memes for Elitist 1% Tweens", "UCLA Memes for Sick AF Tweens" and "USC Memes for Spoiled Pre-Teens".

Related Characters: Quisqueya Solis (speaker)
Page Number: 118
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 13: Alma Quotes

对胎儿进行手术有可能改变他们的人生。
Rather than strangling the doctor (difficult, due to his injury) Jalava took the corny line as inspiration. He decided to go ahead and actually build a prosthetic finger that contains two gigabytes of digital storage. He can now jack his finger into a computer just by peeling back the nail to expose the USB plug. He can also remove the entire finger at any time and hand it to a friend to use.
经济学人智库生活成本指数编辑乔恩?科派斯塔克表示,最显著的变化之一是澳大利亚生活成本的上升,它的两个城市悉尼和墨尔本分别名列第三和第五。夹在中间排名第四的是挪威的奥斯陆。
9.职业治疗师
Index: 100.0
Are you a Type D personality? Test reveals how the little-known character type is so good at bottling up emotions that even they don't realize they're lonely and anxious.

Related Characters: Alma Rivera (speaker), Maribel Rivera
Related Symbols: The Ladder
Page Number: 120
Explanation and Analysis:

Chandelier is the 17th most viewed music video on TouTube of all time and has racked up more than 712 million hits.
斯科特的发言人丽贝卡·凯利告诉《人物》杂志:“显然这位年轻的佛蒙特人对服务很感兴趣,任何人提出的想法想让佛蒙特成为一个更好的地方,都能。”
进入前五强的还有桑德拉·布洛克(Sandra Bullock),是我们榜单中仅有的两位女演员之一(另一位是排名第十的詹妮弗·劳伦斯)。布洛克出演了两部电影题材迥异的热门影片:《地心引力》(Gravity)是一部紧张刺激的惊险片,有望使她再次获得奥斯卡提名;而《辣手警花》(The Heat)则是一部票房成绩不俗的喜剧片,全球票房收入达2.3亿美元。

Related Characters: Arturo Rivera (speaker), Alma Rivera, Maribel Rivera
Page Number: 123
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 15: Adolfo “Fito” Angelino Quotes

Paul was a pretty undersized guard back in high school, which is probably why he's developed such a "me against the world" mentality. CP3 is one of the grittiest and toughest players in the NBA, and he has to be because he sure isn't one of the biggest.
[s?'k?m]
马拉比这部长达800页的作品今年10月由布鲁姆斯伯里出版社(Bloomsbury)和企鹅出版社(Penguin Press)出版。英国《金融时报》的一篇书评称赞该书“非比寻常”。该书是在同终选名单中的另外五部作品展开激烈竞争后脱颖而出的。另五部作品尝试解决的是世界上一些重要的经济与管理难题——从美国的生产率缺口,到持续存在的性别失衡。
"Machines will be stronger and smarter than human beings, but they will never be wiser," he said, "because one thing's for sure: Wisdom, soul and heart are things that only human beings possess, and machines can never enjoy failure, success, friendship or love."

Related Characters: Adolfo “Fito” Angelino (speaker)
Page Number: 146
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 17: Mayor Quotes

You qualify as a type D personality if you scored 10 or higher on both Negative Affectivity and Social Inhibition scales.

门头沟492套公租房启动配租

“What?” my mom asked.

股市大跌!上市房企掀回购、增持潮全力护盘

北京市住建委:主流房源网站仍存在信息未按要求公示情况

Related Characters: Celia Toro (speaker), Rafael “Rafa” Toro (speaker), Mayor Toro
Related Symbols: Rafael’s Car
Page Number: 166
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 18: Nelia Zafón Quotes

On my walk home sometimes, as I stepped back down into that cellar apartment, my eyes heavy from exhaustion, I would think, Is this what this is? This country? My life? Is this all? But even when I thought that, I was always aware of some other part of me saying, there is more. And you will find it.

Related Characters: Nelia Zafón (speaker)
Page Number: 177
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 19: Alma Quotes

美因何而存在?为了回答这个问题,鸟类学家理查德?O?普鲁姆正试图令达尔文的一种观点重新流行:同一个物种中,动物对其同类的吸引力,不仅仅与健康和良好的基因有关。动物,尤其是普鲁姆博士所研究的鸟类,会做出主观的决定。他希望进化生物学家不要再“为欲望辩解”了。
No.2: Another Reason for Staying in Bed
清华大学在计算机科学和工程学两个学科中排名居首。这所中国院校今年取代了麻省理工学院,成为计算机科学最强学府。
她说:“所有监管机构都在考虑这么做,提高透明度始终是可喜的。但能否做到则是另一回事。监管机构谈论提高透明度并降低费用,但在立法方面没什么进展。”
The paper quoted a number of students from the incoming class, who had a range of responses, including two who said it was the right approach to withdraw the offers. "I do not know how those offensive images could be defended," one student said.
勒布朗·詹姆斯
埃玛·莫拉诺一生中唯一的成就可能就是坚持。她活了117岁,并把自己的长寿归功于生鸡蛋和没有丈夫。她于4月15日去世。
Nova School of Business and Economics consolidated last year’s strong performance by climbing a further 14 places to 17.
时间:2009-10-29 编辑:vicki
The school ranks first for alumni satisfaction.

Related Characters: Alma Rivera (speaker), Arturo Rivera, Maribel Rivera
Page Number: 181-82
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 24: Micho Alvarez Quotes

4.比赛期间不要讲话叽歪,等到中场休息或是比赛结束时再说话。
6.头戴式电脑出现
It had hit a record low of 48 in September, and was 49.9 in October.
随着发展中国家消费者继续转向以肉为主的饮食,预计用作牲畜饲料的粮食和油籽将找到支撑。
Isolated in northern China, this virus was similar to the virus that spread before 1957. For this reason, individuals born before 1957 were generally protected, however children and young adults born after that year were not because they had no prior immunity. By January 1978, the virus had spread around the world, including the United States. Because illness occurred primarily in children, this event was not considered a true pandemic. Vaccine containing this virus was not produced in time for the 1977-78 season, but the virus was included in the 1978-79 vaccine.

Related Characters: Micho Alvarez (speaker)
Page Number: 231
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 27: Alma Quotes

地球大气中的二氧化碳浓度超过了百万分之400个单位
Roth, 60, is a professor at Harvard University in Boston. Shapley, 89, is a professor emeritus at University of California Los Angeles.
There’s a (not so) quiet revolution going on under the hoods of today’s cars, trucks and crossovers if the latest list of best engines compiled by the experts at WardsAuto is any indication. Turbocharged, supercharged and diesel engines – and even one electric motor – dominate the 20th annual 10 Best Engines awards, which, according to Wards, “recognize outstanding powertrain achievement, world-class technologies and those rare engines or electric propulsion systems that are so compelling they help sell the vehicle.”

Related Characters: Alma Rivera (speaker), Arturo Rivera, Maribel Rivera
Page Number: 276
Explanation and Analysis:

A Former First Lady Presses On for a Tolerant, Feminist Islam
What’s in a shade? If you are Pantone, the “color authority” and the dominant color trend forecaster, and you get to choose a “color of the year” every year, potentially a lot. It could include determining fashion’s direction (these are the hues that inform the fabrics that get bought by designers that get made into your clothes), influencing interiors, and even affecting how food appears. Still, I don’t think I’ve ever seen quite so much political and philosophical import attached to a color decision as I have for the 2016 “Color of the Year.”
slew是slow慢慢聚集的
“能够有这些天赋异禀的艺术家为电影的音乐进行神助攻,我们非常能高兴。”这场秀的制作人Michael De Luca 和Jennifer Todd周五发表申明时如是说。“能邀请到他们登上第90届奥斯卡也是一种荣幸。”
西蒙接受本刊采访时说:“聘用老兵是我们做出的最好的决定之一。我们在阵亡将士纪念日推出了‘欢迎回家’计划,至今我们已经聘用了超过2.6万名老兵,让我们倍感骄傲。老兵在面对压力时表现一贯优秀,而且有服务热情,这些因素让我们很容易兑现聘用老兵、学习老兵和支持老兵的承诺。”
“不能再采取某些国家先行动,其他国家随后行动的策略,因为时间不多了,”奥斯陆国际气候与环境研究中心(Center for International Climate and Environmental Research)的科学家格伦·P·彼得斯(Glen P. Peters)说。他也参与了这些新数据的编制。“现在需要大家齐心协力。”
人类在过去50年的平均寿命比人类存在的20万年中的平均寿命要长的多。目前,人类的平均寿命是70岁,1950年的平均寿命是47岁,两者存在很大的差异。
由于电影业采取了更为市场化的改革措施,中国的票房总额在过去几十年里从10亿元人民币增长到了400亿元人民币。
“我不知道发生了什么”洛瑞说。“我只知道我被吹罚了一次进攻犯规,就这么发生了。这就是NBA,这就是我想说的。”
出演《美国队长3:英雄决裂》的斯嘉丽-约翰逊排名第三,收入为2500万美元,比去年下降了近30%。
捷克模特皮德拉·尼姆科娃选择了一件白色连衣裙,这件裙子的特色就是深V领口以及长及大腿的裙摆开叉。这位极有魅力的金发女郎极力突出自己轻盈的美腿,确保自己走上红毯的时候可以吸引所有人的目光。
n. 版权,著作权
10. Be mindful of your attitude.

Related Characters: Alma Rivera (speaker), Arturo Rivera, Maribel Rivera
Page Number: 282
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 28: Arturo Rivera Quotes

[spred]
《大空头》,导演:亚当·麦凯。

Related Characters: Arturo Rivera (speaker)
Page Number: 286
Explanation and Analysis: