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Lost Children Archive
Cover of Lost Children Archive
Lost Children Archive
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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 southwest, 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 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.
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 southwest, 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 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.
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Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Luiselli's knotty metafictional novel about a family road trip and lost children, which includes images and documents as well as multiple narrators and multiple narratives, does not initially seem suited to audio. Smart production decisions and capable narration, however, transform it into a fascinating audiobook that will stay with listeners long after they finish. The protagonist and her husband are audio producers themselves, and the production includes background noises, recordings of different quality, and other elements mentioned in the text. Young actor Kivlighan de Montebello and the author read the bulk of the novel, and both give subtle and nuanced performances; without using distinct voices, they clearly capture the members of the family and imbue the novel's big questions with emotional depth. A moving, thought-provoking listen. E.C. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award � AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from October 22, 2018
    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.

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Lost Children Archive
Lost Children Archive
Valeria Luiselli
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