Valeria Luiselli in Conversation with Library Director Diane Kresh
An Arlington Reads Signature Author Event.
The 2019 MacArthur Fellow discusses her latest book, Lost Children Archive, a fiercely imaginative and incredibly timely novel about a family’s summer road trip across America.
About the book:
A mother and father set out with their two children, a boy and a girl, driving from New York to Arizona. In their car, they play games and sing along to music. But on the radio, there is news about an “immigration crisis”: thousands of children trying to reach America but getting stranded at the southern border, held in detention centers, or being sent to their homelands, to an unknown fate. 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 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.
About the Author:
Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City and grew up in South Korea, South Africa and India. An acclaimed writer of both fiction and nonfiction, she is the author of the essay collection "Sidewalks;" the novels "Faces in the Crowd" and "The Story of My Teeth;" and, most recently, "Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions." She is the winner of two Los Angeles Times Book Prizes and an American Book Award, and has twice been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Kirkus Prize. She has been a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree and the recipient of a Bearing Witness Fellowship from the Art for Justice Fund. Her work has appeared in "The New York Times," "Granta" and "McSweeney's," among other publications, and has been translated into more than twenty languages. She lives in New York City.
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The 2021 Arlington Reads series “Food for Thought” features five incredible changemakers – a National Book Award winner, a New York Times-bestselling novelist, a winner of the Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism, a Simpson/Joyce Carol Oates Prize winner, and a MacArthur Fellow – whose kinetic, discerning, and unapologetic writing sets the table for a transformative future.