Review: Lost Children Archive

by Valeria Luiselli (Knopf, 2019)

Lost Children Archive is a feast of language and storytelling that chronicles a fictional family road trip from New York City to Arizona. Valeria Luiselli's several storylines follow the geographic trip and also examine this family's past and their implied future. The novel gains scholarly depth with details of indigenous history and legacies of shifting borders and past migrations. That said, the novel is not a simple travelogue, but a meandering literary feat with several interior twists and turns.

In this first-person narration, language itself is an event, each page brimming with a rich alchemy of fact, fable, and the narrator's quest to make sense of life. Somewhere speeding along a highway in Oklahoma or Texas, the narrator notices: "Lightning strikes so close you don't know if it comes from outside or from inside you, a sudden flash illuminating the world or the nervous mess in your brain, cell circuits igniting in incandescent, ephemeral interactions." Read my full review on BookBrowse

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Karen Lewis