Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli

Lost Children Archive
by Valeria Luiselli

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Published: February 2019
Publisher: Knopf
Genre: Literary
Hardback: 400
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
Mouths open to the sun, they sleep.

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.


My two-bits:

Quite a road trip! Although this was a good and engaging read I was in a state anxiety the whole time. I was worried for the various characters and all the things that could go wrong.

The format of the storytelling was in a documentary style with full effects of both sound and visuals despite being presented in a written form.

Treated to photos in the last chapter.

Got me thinking of refugees and the state of immigrants.

~*~

* part of the Camp ToB 2019 (here)

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