“Lost Children Archive” opens to Persian readers

September 4, 2021 - 18:52

TEHRAN – Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli’s 2019 novel “Lost Children Archive” has been published in Persian.

Vida Eslamieh, a Persian translator of the Harry Potter series of books, has rendered the book published by the Agar publishing house in Tehran.

The novel, which is in part inspired by the ongoing American policy of separating children from their parents at the Mexican-American border, is the first book Luiselli wrote in English.

It is a fiercely imaginative new novel about a family whose road trip across America collides with an immigration crisis at the southwestern border, an indelible journey told with breathtaking imagery, spare lyricism, and profound humanity.

A mother and father set out with their two children, a boy and a girl, driving from New York to Arizona in the heat of summer. Their destination: Apacheria, the place the Apaches once called home.

“Why Apaches?” asks the ten-year-old son. Because they were the last of something, answers his father.

In their car, they play games and sing along to music. But on the radio, there is news about an “immigration crisis”: thousands of kids trying to cross the southwestern border into the United States, but getting detained or lost in the desert along the way.

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 several compelling voices, blending texts, sounds and images, “Lost Children Archive” is an astonishing feat of literary virtuosity. 

It is a richly engaging story of how we document our experiences, and how we remember the things that matter to us the most. With urgency and empathy, it takes us deep into the lives of one remarkable family as it probes the nature of justice and equality today.

Photo: Front cover of the Persian translation of Valeria Luiselli’s novel “Lost Children Archive”.


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