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"Impossibly smart, full of beauty, heart and insight.... Everyone should read this book." (Tommy Orange)
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 humanity.
A 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 home.
Why Apaches? asks the 10-year-old son. Because they were the last of something,answers his father.
In 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 US but getting detained - or lost in the desert along the way.
As 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 are led, inexorably, to a grand, harrowing adventure - both in the desert landscape and within the chambers of their own imaginations.
Told 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 equality today.
Includes a PDF of visuals from the book.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.
“The novel truly becomes novel again in Luiselli’s hands - electric, elastic, alluring, new.... She is a superb chronicler of children: the daughter and son feel piercingly real - perceptive, irreplaceable, wonderfully odd. The book [is] an archive of curiosities, yearnings, animated by the narrator’s restless energy.... It breaks out of the rhythms of the road trip, into a heart-stopping climax." (Parul Sehgal, The New York Times)
“Daring, wholly original, brilliant...fascinating. What Luiselli has pulled off here is a twist on the great American road trip novel, a book about alienation that chronicles fractures, divides, and estrangement - of both a family and a country. It’s a remarkable feat of empathy and intellectuality that showcases Luiselli’s ability to braid the political, historical, and personal while explicitly addressing the challenges of figuring out how to tell the very story she’s telling. Luiselli is an extraordinary writer [with] a freewheeling novelist’s imagination.” (Heller McAlpin, NPR)
“Engrossing...constantly surprising - a beguiling mixture of the real and the doubly invented; a passionately engaged book [with] intellectual amplitude and moral seriousness, [and] a beautiful, loving portrait of children and of the task of looking after them. The kids are utterly alive, hurling questions and mangling adult signals: we are with the family, inside their Volvo wagon, or looking over their shoulders as they eat in diners and stay in motels. It is a pleasure to be a part of the narrator’s family; just as pleasurable is the access we gain to the narrator’s mind - a comprehensive literary intelligence.” (James Wood, The New Yorker)
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The story couldn’t catch me. Only the last fourth of the story was really grabbing
I don’t regret reading it, but I will most likely not do so again. I liked the audiobook with all of the sounds in the background though.
Wonderful story, tough topic, tender narrative
Wonderful story, tough topic, tender narrative. This is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. The narrative has many layers, multiple perspectives telling the story of a family in the broader context of the American society, past and present. It is about adulthood in children and childish playfulness in adults. It is about loss and remembering. About archiving of what is transient and documenting of what gets lost. The performance is also delicate. I loved it!