Reading ➷ Lost Children Archive Author Valeria Luiselli –

Lost Children Archive Read Lost Children Archive By Valeria Luiselli From The Two Time NBCC Finalist, A Fiercely Imaginative Novel About A Family S Summer Road Trip Across America A Journey That, With Breathtaking Imagery, Spare Lyricism, And Profound Humanity, Probes The Nature Of Justice And Equality In America Today.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. 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 out how to sum up the reading experience For me, it s first and foremost a road trip novel when I think of it now, I think about the family on the road the places they stayed, the people they interacted with, the sights they saw and the things that happened to them The road trip is initially described by the unnamed female narrator, wife to the driver of the car and mother stepmother to the two children in the backseat Her account of their travels put me in mind of the south section of Joan Didion s South and West it s evocative but, to my mind, nonjudgmental I didn t feel like anyone, even if they seemed a little iffy, was treated unfairly The husband and wife are experiencing some marital discord that to me is reflected in the research projects that are the reason for the trip Both are audio documentarians although there s some discussion about the differences in their style but the husband is interested in documenting the past he wants to go to historic sites and record Nominated for the Women s Prize for Fiction 2019 Unfortunately, this novel illustrates the difference between well intentioned and well executed Luiselli writes about the plight of migrants trying to cross the border between Mexico and the US, especially children making this dangerous passage through the desert in hopes of being re united with family members who work in the States So this author has a message, and an important one, and there is nothing wrong with selling a message to readers per se, but Luiselli is trying way too hard, thus over constructing her text by throwing in all kinds of ideas as well as narrative strands and sometimes forcing connections that simply make no sense The main storyline is about a patchwork family in the process of falling apart Each parent brought one child into the marriage a boy and a girl and the grown ups used to work together on a soundscape project, trying to record the languages spoken in NYC Now the husband they remain unnamed wants to do a project about the removal of the Apaches, so the family makes a road trip to former Apacheria The wife wants to do a project about the children who get lost in the desert and is also trying to help a woman to find her two kids who disappeared while trying to cross the border Oh yes, and the boy and the girl are afraid they will lose each other when their parents separate This is symbolism overload, and th Lost Children Archiveis 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 much.For 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 children.The 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 quite 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 toothpa This might be the best book I ve read all year It s about refugees, lost children, memory, family, and what can truly be captured about a place or moment in time Personal connections abound sound capture, archival boxes, Steven Feld, marriage, so much that goes deep and I ll be thinking about for some time Here I will place some random quotations, for now Our mothers teach us to speak, and the world teaches us to shut up The thing about living with someone is that even though you see them every day and can predict all their gestures in a conversation, even when you can read intentions behind their actions and calculate their responses to circumstances fairly accurately, even when you are sure there s not a single crease in them left unexplored, even then, one day, the other can suddenly become a stranger Conversations, in a family, become linguistic archaeology I want to, but I know better With men like this one, I know I d play the role of lonely hunter and they, the role of inaccessible prey And I m both too old and too young to pursue things that walk away from me Perhaps it is in those stretched out moments in which they meet the world in silence that our children begin to grow apart from us 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 S

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