Lost Children Archive, Valeria Luiselli
Valeria Luiselli

Lost Children Archive

421 printed pages
LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2019
LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2019
The moving, powerful and urgent English-language debut from one of the brightest young stars in world literature
{"em"=>["Suppose you and Pa were gone, and we were lost. What would happen then?"]}
A family in New York packs the car and sets out on a road trip. A mother, a father, a boy and a girl, they head south west, to the Apacheria, the regions of the US which used to be Mexico. They drive for hours through desert and mountains. They stop at diners when they’re hungry and sleep in motels when it gets dark. The little girl tells surreal knock knock jokes and makes them all laugh. The little boy educates them all and corrects them when they’re wrong. The mother and the father are barely speaking to each other.
Meanwhile, thousands of children are journeying north, travelling to the US border from Central America and Mexico. A grandmother or aunt has packed a backpack for them, putting in a bible, one toy, some clean underwear. They have been met by a coyote: a man who speaks to them roughly and frightens them. They cross a river on rubber tubing and walk for days, saving whatever food and water they can. Then they climb to the top of a train and travel precariously in the open container on top. Not all of them will make it to the border.
In a breath-taking feat of literary virtuosity, Lost Children Archive intertwines these two journeys to create a masterful novel full of echoes and reflections — a moving, powerful, urgent story about what it is to be human in an inhuman world.
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Olga So
Olga Sohas quoted2 months ago
had been a rash decision—messy, confusing, urgent, and as beautiful and real as life feels when you’re not thinking about its consequences
Ana Sofía Saucedo Fuentes
Ana Sofía Saucedo Fuenteshas quotedlast year
I don’t know what my husband and I will say to each of our children one day. I’m not sure which parts of our story we might each choose to pluck and edit out for them, and which ones we’ll shuffle around and insert back in to produce a final version—even though plucking, shuffling, and editing sounds is probably the best summary of what my husband and I do for a living
Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderlandhas quotedlast year
tousle and crackle of dry leaves heaped in mounds at the park where the girl digs for worms, for treasures, for whatever can be found, which is always nothing, because all there is under them are cigarette butts, fossilized dog turds, and miniature ziplock stash bags, hopefully empty; the friction of our coats against the northern gusts come winter; the effort of our feet pedaling rusty bicycles along the river path come spring; the heavy pant of our chests taking in the toxic vapors of the river’s gray waters, and the silent, shitty vibes of both the overeager joggers and the stray Canada geese that always overstay their migratory sojourns; the cannonade of instructions and reprimands fired by professional cyclists, all of them geared up, male, and middle-aged: “Move over!” and “Look left!”; and in response to that, our voices either softly mumbling, “Sorry sir, sorry sir,” or shouting loud heartfelt insults back at them—always abridged or drowned, alas, by the gushing winds; and finally, all the gaps of sound during our moments spent alone, collecting pieces of the world the way we each know how to gather it best. The sound of everything and everyone that once surrounded us, the noise we contributed, and the silence we leave behind.
Read soon, read fast, Fer Silva
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