Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli

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Valeria Luiselli identifies her novel Lost Children Archive as one that explores the theme of immigration, particularly as it relates to contemporary American political discussions about the Mexican border and the treatment of immigrant children (Zamora 2019). As such, the characters depicted in Lost Children Archive allow the author to explore the complexities of these topics. In this response I will briefly outline the main characters depicted in this novel.

The Narrator

The book's narrator is a woman traveling with her husband and children in a car from New York City to the Mexican border. She wants to create a powerful journalistic work about how Border Patrol are treating child migrants. She and her husband ponder the ethical implications of telling these real-life stories. Could such acts actually put the children in greater danger? Is it exploitative to tell such stories?

As they make their way toward the border, the relationship between the narrator and her husband unravels. The narrator's thoughts often return to memories of the early days of their time together. The decaying landscape they witness on their travels shares similarities with their dying marital union, as can be seen in the narrator's observations on her own role in the relationship breakdown: “I needed to admit my share: although I hadn’t lit the match that started this fire, for months I had been leaving a trail of dry debris.”

The Narrator's Husband

The narrator's husband is hoping to craft a project of his own, and it has thematic similarities to his wife's work....

(The entire section is 381 words.)