Episode 20: Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capo Crucet
Make Your Home Among Strangers is the story of 18-year-old Lizet Ramirez, a first-generation Cuban from Miami, who secretly applies to and is accepted by an elite college in the Northeast. Her family, instead of being proud, feels she has betrayed them. At college, Lizet struggles. Home on vacation, she finds her family and community swept up in the drama surrounding Ariel Hernandez, a five-year-old Cuban boy who was discovered floating on a raft and has become the subject of an international custody dispute. Ariel's narrative becomes both the context for and the metaphor underlying Lizet's story, as she tries to figure out what home is, when everyone, in some way, is a stranger.
"It's not a writer's job to solve a problem, but to define a problem clearly," Jennine Capó Crucet tells us, citing Chekhov. "If I'd known the answer to what Lizet would do [in the end], I wouldn't have needed to write this book."
Guest readers Sam Purdy and Shifra Sharlin join host Cyd Oppenheimer in examining how their own backgrounds shape their reactions to these characters and their choices, and in talking about lies, leaps of faith, and love in all its forms.