Lost Children Archive


Rarely do we really understand where a writer finds her inspiration but Valeria Luiselli tips her hand willingly to share that her deeply moving new novel was borne of an experience she had interviewing migrant children in New York City. She was between jobs, not yet legal herself, but offered her Spanish language skills to a friend who was processing children whose cases had gotten far enough in the legal system to have a hearing. She was devastated, feeling she could not NOT do something for these kids, and so she wrote a non fiction essay about that experience (“Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions,” the title of which refers to her own child’s questions about what would happen to these kids). Then, she wrote an achingly beautiful poem of a tome, Lost Children Archive, which will break your heart and illustrate how complex and real this national problem.

Here is an article from her MacArthur Foundation page – she received a Genius grant at 36. And here she is profiled in the NYTimes.