[Valeria Luiselli] Lost Children Archive [young adult fantasy Book] TXT – Kindle ePUB, eBook & PDF Download


characters Lost Children Archive

Lost Children Archive

Are led inexorably to a grand harrowing adventure both in the desert landscape and within the chambers of their own imaginationsTold through several compelling voices blending texts sounds and images Lost Children Archive is an astonishing feat of literary virtuosity It is a richly engaging story of how we document our experiences and how we remember the things that matter to us the most With urgency and empathy it takes us deep into the lives of one remarkable family as it probes the nature of justice and euality today. Idea overshadows execution Still there are moments when this book soars

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From the two time NBCC Finalist an emotionally resonant fiercely imaginative new novel about a family whose road trip across America collides with an immigration crisis at the southwestern border an indelible journey told with breathtaking imagery spare lyricism and profound humanityA mother and father set out with their two children a boy and a girl driving from New York to Arizona in the heat of summer Their destination Apacheria the place the Apaches once called homeWhy Apaches asks the ten year old son Because they. Lost Children Archive is a love it or hate it kind of book some readers will admire its allusiveness others will be turned off by its aloofness Some will probably just think that it is overstuffed and trying to do too muchFor those expecting a novel tackling the child migrant crisis be warned that s the backdrop not the main event In fact it s about a middle class marriage dissolving in slow motion on a family road trip and the effect this has on the couple s childrenThe wife unnamed narrates the first half and as they cross the country she muses on literature photography classical and popular music ballet relationships and parenting Now and then these elucidations are uite brilliant Children force parents to go out looking for a specific pulse a gaze a rhythm the right way of telling the story knowing that stories don t fix anything or save anyone but maybe make the world both complex and tolerable And sometimes just sometimes beautiful Stories are a way of subtracting the future from the past the only way of finding clarity in hindsight But just as often the result is a faux insightful mis hit They always need help with all the little bathroom routines At least as far as it concerns bathroom habits parenthood seems at times like teaching an extinct complicated religion There are rituals than rationales behind them faith than reasons unscrew the lid off the toothpaste tube like this sueeze it like that unroll only this amount of toilet paper then either fold it this way or scrunch it up like this to wipe suirt the shampoo into your hand first not directly on your head pull the plug to let the water drain only once you re outside the bathtub Hmm All those ritual unthinking actions stem from entirely practical sensible reasons hygiene how to wipe safety how to drain the tub not wasting stuff how to dispense shampootoothpaste Ascribing them to faith seems a stretch Rather than perceptive moments like this and there were many were jarring and a little silly Observing the areas through which they travel the narrator comes across as disdainful even snooty the melancholy adults waiting in line like children to refill their large plastic cups with bright colored sodas in gas station shops She s surprised to find an oasis of urbanity in Asheville North Carolina We thought ignorantly and a little condescendingly that we were going to a godforsaken little town It doesn t help that the denizens of middle America are depicted almost uniformly as one dimensional racist hicks I ve no doubt these characters are based on actual encounters but they are not drawn with any nuance or acknowledgment of the narrator s relative wealth and education as a side note it s incredibly difficult to separate the unnamed narrator from Luiselli herself given how much of this story is based on real events The second half is narrated by the woman s ten year old son and is better because in adopting the voice of a young boy Luiselli must subdue her own The boy and his sister go on a journey by themselves which has a mythic fable like uality as if the boy is telling his sister a starry eyed storybook version of events Interspersed with this are sections in third person a novel within the novel called Elegies for Lost Children with allusions to literary works from Ezra Pound TS Eliot Juan Rulfo and others This I liked best of all and it s here that the migrant children s plight takes form At a certain point this strand merges with the son s narrative These passages are gorgeously written and again they have a dreamlike ualityLuiselli rightly denounces euphemism in immigration discourse particularly the ways migrant children are dehumanised as in when referred to as aliens illegals etc However her approach does not really humanise them either The migrant children are instead elevated to a uasi mystical status for instance when a three year old boy delivers a long preternaturally mature solilouy into a broken mobile phone The passage is moving but it doesn t encourage the reader to see this child as a real living suffering human three year old boy At another point a group of children being deported are euphemised as removed and erased as if they simply cease to exist once their plane leaves US airspace and indeed those children vanish from the story subsumed by the narrator s rage In the end I thought Luiselli s treatment of the issue was effective poetically than politicallyThe first half of Lost Children Archive was for my taste too self referential too obviously constructed I kept thinking it would work better as essays which probably means I should just go read Tell Me How It Ends An Essay in 40 uestions Others will appreciate its innovation and delight in its intertextuality but it just didn t work for me The second half I enjoyed but not enough to redeem the overall experience Where Lost Children Archive undoubtedly succeeded is in getting me thinking I ve already written a lot here and there s so much I could say I m looking forward to further dissecting and discussing it which alone makes having read the book worthwhile

Valeria Luiselli ë 0 review

Were the last of something answers his fatherIn their car they play games and sing along to music But on the radio there is news about an immigration crisis thousands of kids trying to cross the southwestern border into the United States but getting detained or lost in the desert along the wayAs the family drives 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 almost feel beneath their feet They. The image of an empty frame occurred to me while reading this book and the I registered how framing was being used as a metaphor the clearly I began to see into Valeria Luiselli s project which had seemed uite blurred in the early pages By the end of the book all the stories and histories she managed to insert into that frame had developed themselves into a vivid and powerful imageImages and metaphors are part of Valeria Luiselli s writing techniue though she begins her narrative focusing on the capturing of sound as a way to document our world rather than on written narrative Somewhere along the way however there is a shift from the focus on sound to a focus on words and Luiselli makes the shift with the insertion of short snippets from a fictional book called Elegies for Lost Children which eventually merges with and passes right through the primary story uniting all the disparate themes in the process The setting for the merging is itself a frame an open sided freight train wagon abandoned in the New Mexico desert Inside that wagon three themes come together fuse and then separate The first is a nesting eagle symbol of the disappeared Apache tribe which forms one strand of the main narrative The eagle s eggs are cooked and eaten by some children who take shelter in her nesting space driving her away These invaders are made up of two groups four children who are the main characters of the Elegies for Lost Children narratives and who are walking from the south carrying nothing but the hope of eventually finding their relatives in the north and two step siblings from the main story who are walking south carrying the hope of finding the lost children of the Elegies and of somehow reviving their own dying family unitLuiselli mentions the origin of the word metaphor at one point explaining that in Greek it meant being taken somewhere It also means to carry across and in this book there are examples of both meanings The children travelling north are taken by train or rather on the roofs of freight train carriages all the way across the mountains and deserts of Mexico before having to carry themselves and their slender hopes the rest of the way across the New Mexico desert The children travelling south are taken in the back of their parents car towards Apacheria until they decide to strike out alone carrying their own slender hopes to the echoing canyons of the Chiricahua mountains But metaphor has a third meaning or rather conseuence it serves to deepen our understanding of a text When one of the children in this story attempts to take Polaroid photos only to find that the subject he tries to frame disappears when exposed to light we understand that this is exactly what the entire book is about it is about trying to ensure that the subjects it frames do not get deleted when exposed to view The last of the Apache tribe buried as prisoners of war in a military compound inside their own territory by the invaders of that same territory are like a blanked out Polaroid They have disappeared They cannot be brought back Valeria Luiselli seems determined that the plight of the children who are being carried on the roofs of trains from misery and danger in Honduras and Mexico towards misery and danger in the US will not also be deleted from history This documentary novel full of words images sounds and echoes is something new in literary terms and it works powerfully on our perception as any good metaphor should It forces our attention onto a blurred uestion we might prefer to ignore who are any of us wherever we are in the world to call another human alien


10 thoughts on “Lost Children Archive

  1. says:

    Now Nominated for the Booker Prize 2019 Unfortunately this novel illustrates the difference between well intention

  2. says:

    Lost Children Archive is a 'love it or hate it' kind of book some readers will admire its allusiveness; others will be turned off by its aloofness Some will probably just think that it is overstuffed and trying to do too muchFor those expecting a novel tackling the child migrant crisis be warned that’s the backdrop not the main

  3. says:

    Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2019Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019 Update 29419 Probably the most glaring omissi

  4. says:

    The image of an empty frame occurred to me while reading this book and the I registered how framing was being used as a metaphor the clearly I began to see into Valeria Luiselli's project which had seemed uite blurred in the early pages By the end of the book all the stories and histories she managed to insert into that frame had developed

  5. says:

    This might be the best book I've read all year It's about refugees lost children memory family and what can truly be captu

  6. says:

    I find the easiest way of evaluating the merit of a novel is simply to ask myself if I could have written it If the answer is yes I'm left with the conviction it can't have been very good Well there's no way I could have written this It's miles too good A husband and wife drifting apart take their two children on a working roadtrip from New York to the Mexico border The husband is researching the last days of the Apache tribe bef

  7. says:

    I think the books that fall into the 'admired it didn't like it' camp are some of the hardest to review and that's exactly how I felt about Lost Children Archive I think this is objectively a very good book Valeria Luiselli sets out to do something incredibly ambitious mixing media forms and offering a wealth of commentary on migration and displacement But all that said it left me feeling rather uninspiredThis book and its main narrator a

  8. says:

    Lost Children Archive is a difficult novel to review; I've been turning it over in my head for than three weeks now trying to figure o

  9. says:

    Idea overshadows execution Still there are moments when this book soars

  10. says:

    Now longlisted for the 2019 Booker interestingly alongside one of the other Women’s prize books that I reference in my original review As i had already read 10 of the longlist with two unavailable at the time it was announced I de

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