Lost Children Archive

Lost Children Archive

A Novel

Book - 2019
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"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
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780525520610
Characteristics: 383 pages : illustrations (some color), color photographs ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

List - Best of 2019
GRPL_Kelly Dec 04, 2019

Luiselli perfectly captures the pervasive feeling of the world falling apart and what we do to preserve the things that matter to us. This is a beautiful, multi-layered story that would be perfect for book clubs.

From the critics

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Feb 07, 2020

I don't know what to say but perhaps the times we live in have allowed us to expect this sorry mess to be described as a novel. I'll carry on trying but it seems to be painting by numbers mixed with some bizarre notion of profundity. I like nothing more than a mixed media approach to the novel but this is reportage and navel gazing and an ill-formed oddity. Very disappointed.

PimaLib_SWBooks Feb 06, 2020

This book was submitted for consideration for the 2019 Southwest Books of the Year list in the Fiction category!

Jan 13, 2020

NYT 2019 Top 10

Dec 30, 2019

Inspired by the experiences of desperate children crossing the desert to get to US and the history of the Apache warriors making their last stand, framed by a fictionalized version of a road trip this Mexican born writer took from New York to Cochise County with her husband and two kids. For the first half , narrated by an unnamed woman, we are with the family in the Volvo wagon, diners and rented cabins while the parent patiently and loving execute the task of caring for the children while worrying about the “lost children” and giving history lessons of the Apache. The structure is around 7 boxes of material the family has taken with them, 4 for the husband, 1 for each the wife the kids. The boxes are inventoried at the beginning of the chapters with lists of books and other literary materials bearing on the parents' research. This is how the author references her intensely allusive prose. It contains a book within the book "elegies for Lost children" purportedly by an Italian author but is descriptive of the struggle of the lost children in current border crisis.
The second part narrated by the ten-year-old boy contains a single sentence that runs on for 20 pages. An astonishing work of literature.

Nov 24, 2019

Top 10 Books of 2019 New York Times

The Mexican author’s third novel — her first to be written in English — unfolds against a backdrop of crisis: of children crossing borders, facing death, being detained, being deported unaccompanied by their guardians. The novel centers on a couple and their two children (all unnamed), who are taking a road trip from New York City to the Mexican border; the couple’s marriage is on the brink of collapse as they pursue independent ethnographic research projects and the woman tries to help a Mexican immigrant find her daughters, who’ve gone missing in their attempt to cross the border behind her. The brilliance of Luiselli’s writing stirs rage and pity, but what might one do after reading such a novel? Acutely sensitive to these misgivings, Luiselli has delivered a madly allusive, self-reflexive, experimental book, one that is as much about storytellers and storytelling as it is about lost children.

Nov 06, 2019

Oh, spare me. Way too wordy.

Nov 04, 2019

A misguided mess. I only rated it this high because there were some moments of insight and clarity amidst the folly.
A timely book about migration - told through the story of a disintegrating family on a long road trip from NYC to Arizona. Two adults and two children, all unnamed - just boy, girl, husband, wife; a gaining-in-popularity conceit that annoys the hell out of me. The parents are activists - she for the child migration crisis at the border, he for the history of genocide of Native Americans. Somehow, both of those issues are equated with the impending divorce and break-up of this family and delineated through an overly indulgent, look-at-my-MFA highly stylized storyline featuring lists of the contents of archive boxes, Polaroids, and a 20-page single sentence near the end. All that and two of the most unbelievable, philosophical, mystical children ever written. Obviously not for me.

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:

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