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Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40…

Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions (2017)

by Valeria Luiselli

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3541850,860 (4.37)64
"Structured around the forty questions Luiselli translates and asks undocumented Latin-American children facing deportation, Tell Me How It Ends (an expansion of her 2016 Freeman's essay of the same name) humanizes these young migrants and highlights the contradiction of the idea of America as a fiction for immigrants with the reality of racism and fear--both here and back home"--… (more)
Recently added byszbuhayar, HeatherJo5, bookishtexpat, iambriam, uncleflannery, jshttnbm, ELiz_M, private library



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» See also 64 mentions

English (17)  Dutch (1)  All languages (18)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Read this and [b:Signs Preceding the End of the World|21535546|Signs Preceding the End of the World|Yuri Herrera|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1398195367s/21535546.jpg|15089950] together. ( )
  jshttnbm | May 14, 2020 |
4. [19167547::Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions] by [[Valeria Luiselli]]
introduction: [[Jon Lee Anderson]]
translation [[Lizzie Davis]] –expanded essays
published: 2016 in English, then translated to Spanish and expanded by Luiselli. The extensions were then translated back to English in 2017 by Davis
format: 119-page Paperback
acquired: January
read: Jan 18-24
time reading: 2 hr 34 min, 1.3 min/page
rating: 4

This is what I posted on Litsy about an hour ago: "It‘s only now, thinking about it, that I begin to feel this book‘s relentless empty chill. American cruelty knows no bounds once it‘s legalized. Here the emotional shocks of how we treat these unaccompanied child refugees come so quickly in this little book that it‘s almost not possible to process while reading, or even at all. What they go through, in the many thousands...the little cruel window Luiselli witnessed...what can you say?"

I finished to book two days ago, and it really does go by quick. Luiselli served as a translator of the US federal immigration court during the Obama administration with the role of helping unaccompanied child refugees answer a 40-question official questionnaire. These are standard questions for all refugees, but don't exactly apply to young children who can't comprehend them in any language. Why did they come the United States, How did they get here, where did they enter...they don't know how to answer these questions. Helping one girl, she asks, "Texas? Arizona?" The girl response, "Yes! Texas Arizona."

The road to the US includes a train through Mexico, call La Bestia, for all of them, and they all turned themselves in to US immigration seeking asylum, some desperately because if they aren't picked up, they will die of exposure in the desert. They came from Central America. A Mexican child is deported immediately and has no opportunity to claim refugee status. These children will all be deported unless they find a lawyer that they have to pay for themselves. The few who find lawyers, all working for free, have a fair chance. So, essentially most of these deportations are not the legal system at work, but the legal system broken.

Luiselli starts a question at a time, working in her reflections and, of course, much more aware of the weight of the answers to these questions than the children are. The pace picks up a little, and then suddenly your at question 40 and you have accumulated a huge assortment of unprocessed tragedies to work through, or not I guess. I just put the book down for a few days. What can you say?

https://www.librarything.com/topic/315313#7047369 ( )
  dchaikin | Apr 10, 2020 |
Incredible text, so effective because it mixes great prose, personal experience, others’ experience, and explains the law, all in 100 pages. ( )
  nicholasjjordan | Nov 13, 2019 |
An indictment of our treatment of undocumented children in 40 essays.
  CGSLibrary | Jul 5, 2019 |
Extraordinary essay on the plight of unaccompanied minors as they make their way through the system. The author served as a translator for the pro bono immigration lawyers in NYC. The story is sad, frustrating, enlightening and mostly heartbreaking. It is a quick read, but is full of rich prose and first person testimony as to the dilemma for these children. ( )
  beebeereads | May 19, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Dat vraagt de 5 jarige dochter regelmatig aan haar moeder Valeria Luiselli wanneer zij uit haar werk komt. Moeder is tussenpersoon bij de immigratierechtbank in Amerika om minderjarige Spaanstalige vluchtelingen bij te staan, beter gezegd, het eerste interview mee af te nemen als tolk. Dit boek recenseren slaat nergens op vind ik. Het is een aanklacht tegen de idiote strenge niets ontziende regelingen die Amerika hanteert om deze kinderen die vooral uit Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, te toetsen of zij daadwerkelijk een verblijfstatus zullen krijgen. Daarvoor krijgen zij een vragenlijst voorgeschoteld die nauwelijks te beantwoorden is. Het lijkt eerder een mijnenveld dat willens en wetens is aangelegd om zoveel mogelijk kinderen direct weer te kunnen uitwijzen...lees verder >
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