Lost Children Archive

Lost Children Archive

Book - 2019
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"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"-- Provided by publisher.
"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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2019.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780525520610
Call Number: LUISELLI
Characteristics: 383 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 25 cm
Subjects: Families -- Fiction.
Immigrant children -- Fiction.
Illegal alien children -- Fiction.
Domestic fiction.
Road fiction.


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Sep 19, 2019

booker 2019 longlist

Sep 07, 2019

I'll admit that at first I did not think I would like the book. No one has a name. The mother just calls her children the boy and the girl. Even her husband is just the husband. But somehow it pulled me in and I am very glad I stayed with it. The more you read the better it gets! Don't miss the pictures at the back of the book. I have not read anything by Valeria Luiselli, but will look for more. Very timely!

Aug 26, 2019

This 2019 novel is very much a novel of the moment. I'd say everyone should sent a copy to the White House, but I don't think anyone there reads novels. The Mexican-born Luiselli also wrote the non-fiction book "Tell Me How It Ends."
Short interview with Luiselli on PBS:

May 22, 2019

This is a very clever, self-aware book that echoes influences as diverse as Virginia Woolf, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Golding’s Lord of the Flies, and David Bowie’ Space Oddity. There is a long, twenty-page sentence near the end of the book that echoes Molly Bloom in Ulysses. A type of bibliography at the end references the resonances in the book, not direct quotations, many of which are translations of translations. Such reflexivity could be clunky and derivative in clumsier hands, but it’s not: it’s confident and deliberate, and a book of the heart and head. As soon as I started reading it, I knew that I was in the hands of a very talented, intelligent writer. It’s been ages since I enjoyed a book as much.

For my complete review, visit

Mar 06, 2019

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