Telling kids migrants ‘ tales at the U.S. border, this novel is one of the most acclaimed books of 2019. Will we also be admiring it?
The Lost Children Archive of Valeria Luiselli has come out of the hat and will be our December reading group choice.
The Mexican author’s first English-language book, Lost Children Archive, is inspired by the plight of the tired, poor, and huddled masses of refugee children fleeing danger and persecution, only to find themselves interned or turned away from the US.
In other words, it’s about one of the most important stories of our times. It’s a cry for empathy and compassion and the perfect and ideal book to round off this turbulent tough decade.
But it is more than politics The critic Parul Sehgal called the book of Luiselli a “mould break new classic” in the New York Times, stating: “The novel truly becomes novel again in her hands – electric, elastic, alluring, new. And the story of the migrant, she believes, insists upon a new form: How else to tell a story that has no end?”
Lucy Hughes-Hallett pointed out in the Guardian that it is also a road trip novel that refers to the Odyssey, The Children’s Crusade, Jack Kerouac, and Cormac McCarthy.
“Luiselli is an ambitious author,” says Hughes-Hallett, speaking about the various narrative points of view, virtuoso prose, and cleverness of the novel. We’re happily told to expect warmth and humor as well. So while Lost Children Archive sounds like a serious literature work, there should be plenty of scope for discussion and enjoyment.


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