Lost children archive

Valeria Luiselli, 1983-

Book - 2019

"A novel about a family of four, on the cusp of fracture, who take a trip across America--a story told through varying points of view, and including archival documents and photographs"--

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FICTION/Luiselli Valeria
2 / 3 copies available
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1st Floor FICTION/Luiselli Valeria Due Jul 18, 2022
Subjects
Genres
Domestic fiction
Road fiction
Published
New York : Alfred A. Knopf 2019.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Item Description
"This is a Borzoi Book."
Physical Description
383 pages : illustrations (some color), photographs ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN
9780525520610
0525520619
Main Author
Valeria Luiselli, 1983- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* No stranger to inventive storytelling and the Mexican-American borderlands, Luiselli (The Story of My Teeth, 2015) launches this ultimately harrowing novel with an innocuous enough premise. An unnamed couple and their children embark on a cross-country road trip from New York City to Arizona. Husband and wife both work as audio recording artists, dedicated to capturing the soundscapes of everyday life. Upon their arrival, he plans to investigate the native Apache people who used to populate the Southwest, and she has promised to find a friend's daughters who have been arrested at the border. When the family arrives at their destination, however, the overwhelming scale of the migrant crisis redirects their efforts, and the children eventually lose themselves in the strange, uncertain terrain. As husband and wife rush to recover their own offspring, stories of Latin American asylum seekers and the disappeared Apaches overlap and converge, creating a poignant portrait of current events. Intense and keenly timely, Luiselli's latest work is perhaps her most politically relevant, and themes of translation and migration resonate, making it one of few novels that fully and powerfully convey the urgency of this unsettling situation. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Claimant to two Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, two National Book Critics Circle nominations, and National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" acknowledgment, literary star Luiselli does a road trip novel, sending a family from New York to Arizona in a used Volvo. The father wants to gather an "inventory of echoes" in the legendary land of the Apaches, the mother attends obsessively to radio reports about children at America's southern border trapped in detention centers, the ten-year-old son experiments with his new Polaroid, and all the children sense their parents pulling apart. Buzzing already. Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

A woman with a daughter and a man with a son meet in New York while recording a sound archive of the city; eventually, they marry and become a family. After the project ends, the entire family drives across the country. The father has vague plans to document sounds in the area where the Apaches surrendered; the woman (of Mexican descent, like the author) wishes to research migrant children's experiences crossing the border. Meanwhile, it's evident that the marriage is falling apart. The first half of the story is told in the mother's voice, but this approach is abruptly abandoned for the ten-year-old son's perspective. Interspersed throughout are gripping excerpts from an imagined novel called Elegies of Lost Children, a grim, mythlike account of migrant children riding a freight train to an unnamed border. The novel also includes lists of books and articles, the contents of the family's archive in the trunk of the car, and photographs that document the family's travels, further blurring the border between fact and fiction. VERDICT The shifting sensibility from observer to child to child migrant gradually pulls readers inside the migrants' nightmare journey to create a story that, if fragmented, feels both timely and intelligent. [See Prepub Alert, 8/27/18.]—Reba Leiding, emerita, James Madison Univ. Lib., Harrisonburg, VA Copyright 2019 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Luiselli's powerful, eloquent novel begins with a family embarking on a road trip and culminates in an indictment of America's immigration system. An unnamed husband and wife drive, with their children in the backseat, from New York City to Arizona, he seeking to record remnants of Geronimo and the Chiricahua Apache, she hoping to locate two Mexican girls last seen awaiting deportation at a detention center. The husband recounts for the 10-year-old son and five-year-old daughter stories about a legendary band of Apache children. The wife explains how immigrant children become separated from parents, losing their way and sometimes their lives. Husband, wife, son, and daughter nickname themselves Cochise, Lucky Arrow, Swift Feather, and Memphis, respectively. When Swift Feather and Memphis go off alone, they become lost, then separated, then intermingled with the Apache and immigrant children, both imagined and all too real. As their parents frantically search, Memphis trades Swift Feather's map, compass, flashlight, binoculars, and Swiss Army knife for a bow and arrow, leaving them with only their father's stories about the area to guide them. Juxtaposing rich poetic prose with direct storytelling and brutal reality and alternating narratives with photos, documents, poems, maps, and music, Luiselli explores what holds a family and society together and what pulls them apart. Echoing themes from previous works (such as Tell Me How It Ends), Luiselli demonstrates how callousness toward other cultures erodes our own. Her superb novel makes a devastating case for compassion by documenting the tragic shortcomings of the immigration process.31 photos. 75,000-copy announced first printing. (Feb.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Traces a profoundly human family summer road trip across America that is shaped by historical and modern displacement tragedies as well as a growing rift between the two parents.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"A novel about a family of four, on the cusp of fracture, who take a trip across America--a story told through varying points of view, and including archival documents and photographs"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

The award-winning author of Tell Me How It Ends traces a profoundly human family summer road trip across America that is shaped by historical and modern displacement tragedies as well as a growing rift between the two parents.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

"From the two-time NBCC Finalist, a fiercely imaginative novel about a family's summer road trip across America--a journey that, with breathtaking imagery, spare lyricism, and profound humanity, probes the nature of justice and equality in America today. A mother and father set out with their kids from New York to Arizona. In their used Volvo--and with their ten-year-old son trying out his new Polaroid camera--the family is heading for the Apacheria: the region the Apaches once called home, and where the ghosts of Geronimo and Cochise might still linger. The father, a sound documentarist, hopes to gather an "inventory of echoes" from this historic, mythic place. The mother, a radio journalist, becomes consumed by the news she hears on the car radio, about the thousands of children trying to reach America but getting stranded at the southern border, held in detention centers, or being sent back to their homelands, to an unknown fate. But as the family drives farther west--through Virginia to Tennessee, across Oklahoma and Texas--we sense they are on the brink of a crisis of their own. A fissure is growing between the parents, one the children can feel beneath their feet. They are led, inexorably, to a grand, unforgettable adventure--both in the harsh desert landscape and within the chambers of their own imaginations. Told through the voices of the mother and her son, as well as through a stunning tapestry of collected texts and images--including prior stories of migration and displacement--Lost Children Archive is a story of how we document our experiences, and how we remember the things that matter to us the most. Blending the personal and the political with astonishing empathy, it is a powerful, wholly original work of fiction: exquisite, provocative, and deeply moving"--

Review by Publisher Summary 5

WINNER OF THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN FICTIONWINNER OF THE FOLIO PRIZENATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALISTFINALIST FOR THE KIRKUS PRIZE FOR FICTIONLONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZELONGLISTED FOR THE ASPEN WORDS LITERARY PRIZEOne of The New York Times 10 Best Books of the YearA Best Book of 2019: Entertainment Weekly; TIME; NPR; O, The Oprah Magazine; The Washington Post; GQ; The Guardian; Chicago Tribune; Dallas Morning News; and the New York Public Library“The novel truly becomes novel again in Luiselli’s hands—electric, elastic, alluring, new.” --Parul Sehgal, The New York TimesA fiercely imaginative new novel about a family whose road trip across America collides with an immigration crisis at the southwestern border--an indelible journey told with breathtaking imagery, spare lyricism, and profound humanity.A mother and father set out with their two children, a boy and a girl, driving from New York to Arizona in the heat of summer. Their destination: Apacheria, the place the Apaches once called home.Why Apaches? asks the ten-year-old son. Because they were the last of something, answers his father.In their car, they play games and sing along to music. But on the radio, there is news about an "immigration crisis": thousands of kids trying to cross the southwestern border into the United States, but getting detained--or lost in the desert along the way.As the family drives--through Virginia to Tennessee, across Oklahoma and Texas--we sense they are on the brink of a crisis of their own. A fissure is growing between the parents, one the children can almost feel beneath their feet. They are led, inexorably, to a grand, harrowing adventure--both in the desert landscape and within the chambers of their own imaginations.Told through several compelling voices, blending texts, sounds, and images, Lost Children Archive is an astonishing feat of literary virtuosity. It is a richly engaging story of how we document our experiences, and how we remember the things that matter to us the most. With urgency and empathy, it takes us deep into the lives of one remarkable family as it probes the nature of justice and equality today.