The moving, powerful and urgent English-language debut from one of the brightest young stars in world literatureSuppose you and Pa were gone, and we were lost. What would happen then?A family in New York packs the car and sets out on a road trip. A mother, a father, a boy and a girl, they head south west, to the Apacheria, the regions of the US which used to be Mexico. They drive for hours through desert and mountains. They stop at diners when they’re hungry and sleep in motels when it gets dark. The little girl tells surreal knock knock jokes and makes them all laugh. The little boy educates them all and corrects them when they’re wrong. The mother and the father are barely speaking to each other.Meanwhile, thousands of children are journeying north, travelling to the US border from Central America and Mexico. A grandmother or aunt has packed a backpack for them, putting in a bible, one toy, some clean underwear. They have been met by a coyote: a man who speaks to them roughly and frightens them. They cross a river on rubber tubing and walk for days, saving whatever food and water they can. Then they climb to the top of a train and travel precariously in the open container on top. Not all of them will make it to the border.In a breath-taking feat of literary virtuosity, Lost Children Archive intertwines these two journeys to create a masterful novel full of echoes and reflections – a moving, powerful, urgent story about what it is to be human in an inhuman world.
A powerful polemic about the US-Mexico border and what is happening to the tens of thousands of children arriving in the US without papers‘We are driving across Oklahoma in early June when we first hear about the waves of children arriving, alone and undocumented, from Mexico and Central America. Tens of thousands have been detained at the border. What will happen to them? Where are the parents? And why have they undertaken a terrifying, life-threatening journey to enter the United States?’Valeria Luiselli works as a volunteer at the federal immigration court in New York City, translating for unaccompanied migrant children. Out of her work has come this book – a search for answers and an urgent appeal for humanity and compassion in response to mass migration, the most significant global phenomenon of our time.