HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Lost Children Archive

by Valeria Luiselli

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6333726,339 (3.74)145
"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"-- "A novel about a family of four, on the cusp of fracture, who take a trip across America--a story told through varying points of view, and including archival documents and photographs"--… (more)
  1. 01
    American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins (novelcommentary)
  2. 01
    Swamplandia! by Karen Russell (booklove2)
  3. 01
    Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong (booklove2)
    booklove2: told through short chapters, sad yet humorous, focusing on family
  4. 01
    Census by Jesse Ball (booklove2)
    booklove2: sad yet humorous road trips with children
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 145 mentions

English (35)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
I am glad my niece told me to read this book. When I mentioned that I had returned it to the library unread, she literally gasped and told me to check it back out and read it. She was so right. I loved this story about a young family of four, known as Pa, Ma, Boy, and Girl. They were on a road trip because the parents were both doing extensive research studies. Pa was fascinated by the Apaches who had their last hurrah in NM, and Ma was disturbed about child immigrants, a story that hit close to home because a friend was waiting for word on the status of her two young daughters traveling with a coyote from Mexico. We learn much about the plight of refugee children through the fictitious elegies that are based on actual happenings.

Part of the reason I enjoyed this book was because of the long road trip from NYC to New Mexico with lots of interesting stops along the way. I love road trips! I lapped up the details about the books they were reading and listening to; however, I think they might have chosen a friendlier book than Lord of the Rings for the family audiobook, even with these precocious children.

The first part of the book is narrated by Mother, but I really fell in love with it when Boy (age 10) took over with his point of view. He picked up some vibes that things were not going well between his father and Girl's mother so he took it upon himself to write his own documentary about their trip. His sister was only 5-years-old and he was afraid her memories wouldn't be as clear as his. There was a real sweetness and trust in the close relationship between this non-biological brother and sister. A big part of the story was told in the Polaroid pictures he took along the way. I thought including the pictures was brilliant. In fact, the more I think about this book, the better I like it. ( )
1 vote Donna828 | Sep 30, 2020 |
Some books challenge our expectations of what a novel is or what it should be. "Lost Children Archive" is a case in point. Ostensibly a "road novel", it shows us a family (a husband, a wife and their respective son and daughter from previous marriages) on a road trip between New York and Arizona. The couple met when they were working on a documentary project on the various languages of New York. However, their latest projects seem to be pulling them apart: the husband becomes obsessed with the last of the Apaches whereas the wife is planning a sound documentary on children detained at the border. It is clear that the family is breaking up, but this internal division becomes itself a symbol of families of migrants forcibly split apart.

In classic "post-modern" fashion, the narrative teases out links between the various strands of the story; sways between realism and fantasy/magical realism; and incorporates into the story such unlikely items as inventories of the contents of the boxes accompanying the family on the trip.

Much as I appreciate the work's originality and admire its complexity, I must admit that finishing this book was a challenge to me. Its best parts were brilliant, but there were points when I started asking myself whether the novel was being too clever for its own good. So I'll go for three stars on this - I don't doubt it's a very good (and very topical) novel, and others have rightly extolled its virtues. However, I can't say I really enjoyed it... ( )
  JosephCamilleri | Sep 12, 2020 |
A family - the narrator, her husband, the boy (her husband's son) and the girl (her daughter) - take a cross country road trip from their home in New York to New Mexico, where the husband is working on a sound project and wants to see where the Apache lived.

Our unnamed narrator reflects a lot on the incompleteness of our memories and our narratives, the stories we tell about ourselves and others that are shaped, rather than perfectly preserved. What stories become history? What do we leave out? At the same time, in the boxes the family brings along with them on the trip and create in memories along the way becomes their own imperfect archive and family history. The reflective writing caused me to read slowly for much of the book, but I was also surprised by the change of gears and at one point was reading almost feverishly to even find a stopping point. Probably as perfectly crafted a book as I have ever read, and one I feel I would have to reread again to fully appreciate. ( )
  bell7 | Aug 29, 2020 |
This was like reading a dream. I really enjoyed the author's style of writing and the many allusions to other works of literature and media. The book focused on a family that is lost in its own way. The parents and two children are traveling to where Geronmino lived. None of the characters are named and you don't really find out much about the backgrounds of the adults. The mother has a goal of finding two lost migrant girls. On the way, they make many pitstops and document and make observations of how the land and the people have been affected by so-called progress.

While this was a work of fiction, the author provides many resources to find out more about migrant children, other lost children, and the Apaches. I also liked how there were real photos of some of the events the characters talk about. I had recently read Orphan Train and this book has real documents and photos relating to that. The main point of this novel was how inimical and inhumane the US policies have been towards brown people, starting with the original natives and continue to this day. The book does have some harrowing parts but that is to be expected. There were events that happened at the end of the novel and that made me a little frustrated but then the author didn't disappoint me. My favorite parts were the boy's point of view about how he sees his family and his sister. I really liked this novel and I am going to explore her other works. ( )
  twinkley | Jun 7, 2020 |
Any novel whose purpose is to show liberal, middle-class readers the horrible things that are happening to children under our noses is bound to turn into The Water Babies at some point(*). Sooner or later, we start to feel that our emotions are being manipulated through the terrible things we are reading about. Luiselli is very conscious of this, and she deploys a whole armoury of more or less sophisticated literary weapons to delay that crucial moment until she's already told us all the things she wants us to take home with us, and then shifts the scenery around so that we come out of it not quite sure any more whether it's us or the characters in the book who were being used. When you stand back a little way, it's not hard to see the stage machinery at work, but when you're in there reading it (or listening, as I did) the writing is too fine to give you the chance to stop and think about it. It is a very gripping and emotionally-challenging book.

A book-within-a-book device is used to tell the first-hand stories of the migrant children, deflecting any concerns we might have about who wrote all this stuff down (not that it sounds inauthentic at all: I'm sure most of it came from actual testimony), and we follow the story through the eyes of a middle-class couple and their children on a summer-holiday road-trip from New York to Arizona. The four main characters are all flawed: Luiselli wants to make sure that we realise that no middle-class person, including herself, can really imagine what it is like to be a refugee. In the adults, we're shown how, although well-intentioned, they keep getting distracted by their own selfish concerns with their work projects and their relationship and crucially overlook what their children are experiencing; in the children we see that their idea of living part of the refugee experience to get their parents' attention is silly, because deep-down they still have an (unreasonable) faith that whatever bad thing happens, an adult will turn up to rescue them.

This is a book that works very well on audio: it seems to have been designed with that in mind, and it's performed almost as a play with two main and two minor narrators, bits of ambient sound, and so on. Not coincidentally, audiobooks play an important part in the family's road-trip, the parents are both people who work with sound, and various parts of the narrative are supposed to be tape recordings. (Do professionals still use tape?)

A very clever, moving book.

---
(*) Or Jude the obscure...! ( )
  thorold | May 10, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
In ihrem Roman "Archiv der verlorenen Kinder" rückt Valeria Luiselli das Schicksal der Flüchtlingskinder an der Grenze zu den USA wieder in den Fokus.
 
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
To Maia and Dylan, who showed me childhood all over again.
First words
Mouths open to the sun, they sleep.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

"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"-- "A novel about a family of four, on the cusp of fracture, who take a trip across America--a story told through varying points of view, and including archival documents and photographs"--

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.74)
0.5
1 4
1.5
2 8
2.5 3
3 28
3.5 10
4 46
4.5 15
5 22

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 150,937,040 books! | Top bar: Always visible