Award-Winning Writer Jennine Capó Crucet, Author of Make Your Home Among Strangers, Offers Free Public Lecture at UNC Asheville Aug. 31


Award-winning writer Jennine Capó Crucet will deliver a free public lecture at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 31 in UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium. Crucet’s novel, Make Your Home Among Strangers, was selected as summer reading for new students as part of the university’s first-year reading program.

Make Your Home Among Strangers tells the story of a young woman – the daughter of Cuban immigrants living in Miami – who goes north to attend an elite university. Published in August 2015, the novel quickly gained acclaim as an Best Book of the month. It also was long-listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, named a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, and in 2016, won the International Latino Book Award for Best Latino-themed Fiction. Crucet, assistant professor of English and ethnic studies at the University of Nebraska, also has won an O. Henry Award for her short stories.

"Addressing the sense of alienation that we all feel sometimes, Make Your Home Among Strangers tells the story of Lizet, who leaves home even as her family is caught up in events that seem almost beyond control," said UNC Asheville Religious Studies Professor Rodger Payne, co-chair of the First-Year Experience Advisory Committee which chose the book. "In tracing Lizet's confrontations with new intellectual, social and political challenges, Jennine Capó Crucet tells a powerful story about searching for stability in uncertain times, one which many students will recognize as they begin their college careers."

Jennine Capó Crucet“The book speaks to the transition to college on so many authentic levels - one can't help but see themselves in parts of Lizet's story,” says UNC Asheville Dean of Students Jackie McHargue, who joined Payne in co-chairing the committee that chose the book. Students are discussing the book’s themes as part of orientation activities in small groups led by faculty and staff, and the conversations will continue through the fall semester during special seminar courses for first-year students.

A book signing will take place after the talk. For more information, contact Jackie McHargue, at or 828.250.2370.