Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 424
Valeria Luiselli’s book Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions is nonfiction, meaning the characters in it are all real people, though some are not given names.
Valeria Luiselli is an immigrant from Mexico living and working in the United States. She is an award-winning writer, mostly of essays and journalism. She is in her mid-thirties, with a husband, daughter, and stepson. Her parents were Mexican diplomats. She was educated in both Mexico and the US and teaches literature in New York. She is ambivalent about both Mexico and the US. Luiselli describes herself as not knowing how to be a Mexican, yet she is also deeply aware of the hostility often aimed at immigrants, and Mexicans in particular, in the US.
Luiselli's family plays a role in the story. She, her husband, and her daughter are all waiting for their green cards as the story begins. Later in the essay, her husband and daughter's cards arrive, while hers does not. Her stepson lives in Mexico and visits during the book's events. Partially because of these circumstances, Luiselli volunteers as a court translator for undocumented refugee children during the 2014 crisis, when tens of thousands of children fleeing violence in Central America arrived at the US–Mexico border.
Luiselli's niece also briefly shows up in the story as a volunteer at aid organization The Door. The organization's other staff members are also in the essay. All are young women, but we don't learn much else about them.
Almost all the remaining characters in the essay...
(The entire section contains 424 words.)
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