Lost Children Archive
Dramatised reading of Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli and performed by Maddy Joy.
ILFDublin X 2021 DUBLIN Literary Award Shortlist Podcast Ep 3: Valeria Luiselli in conversation with Maeve Higgins
Exclusive limited podcast series featuring the 2021 DUBLIN Literary Award Shortlisted authors and translators.
Comments from the Judges
‘While all of the books on this year’s Shortlist provided outstanding instances of what the novel can do in the twenty-first century, the Judges felt that one book in particular pushed the boundaries of contemporary fiction, while at the same time telling a compelling story. Valeria Luiselli’s Lost Children Archive manages to do many things at once. At its most basic level, it is the story of a couple and their children driving across the United States, from New York to the Southwest border with Mexico. The parents, who are sound recordists, want to make recordings of absences; she, of the children who have been lost crossing the border, he of the Native Americans who used to live in the area. However, woven into this framework are reflections on sound, on silence, a magic realist story read by the children, and artefacts, including an entire chapter made of Polaroid photographs. The result is a richly textured novel that reminds us that the novel is always capable of being pushed in new directions. As the title suggests, this is the novel as archive, as a repository of memory.’
About the Novel
In Valeria Luiselli’s fiercely imaginative follow-up to the American Book Award-winning Tell Me How It Ends, an artist couple set out with their two children on a road trip from New York to Arizona in the heat of summer. As the family travels west, the bonds between them begin to fray: a fracture is growing between the parents, one the children can almost feel beneath their feet. Through ephemera such as songs, maps and a Polaroid camera, the children try to make sense of both their family’s crisis and the larger one engulfing the news: the stories of thousands of kids trying to cross the southwestern border into the United States but getting detained—or lost in the desert along the way .A breath-taking feat of literary virtuosity, Lost Children Archive is timely, compassionate, subtly hilarious, and formally inventive—a powerful, urgent story about what it is to be human in an inhuman world.
About the Author
Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City and grew up in South Korea, South Africa and India. An acclaimed writer of both fiction and nonfiction, she is the author of the essay collection Sidewalks; the novels Faces in the Crowd and The Story of My Teeth; and, most recently, Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions. She is the winner of two Los Angeles Times Book Prizes and an American Book Award, and has twice been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Kirkus Prize. She has been a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree and the recipient of a Bearing Witness Fellowship from the Art for Justice Fund. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Granta, and McSweeney’s, among other publications, and has been translated into more than twenty languages. She lives in New York City.
It’s a very original novel, with a sophisticated narrative structure which talks about very important themes such as migration troubles in the USA, and the USA’s relationship with the past history of the country. Biblioteca Vila de Gràcia, Spain
For library members in Ireland, this novel is available as an eBook and eAudiobook on BorrowBox.