Mexico City-Valeria Luiselli is pleased to have passed the library’s test in the first novel, “Lost Children Archive” (“Sound Desert”), written directly in English, which won the Dublin Literary Award.
The $ 122,000 award, sponsored by the Dublin City Council, is the highest monetary award for a novel published in English. Finalists have been nominated by libraries around the world.
“It really seems like the most beautiful thing about this award,” Luiseri said in a recent interview with the Associated Press from New York, where she lives. “This is an award that, like all other awards, is related to reading speed, not market speed.”
Published in 2019, the Lost Children Archive addresses the issue of immigrant children traveling unaccompanied to the United States. This was directly witnessed by the author in the New York Immigration Court as a translator and interpreter for children.
In the novel, a family of several healthy documentary creators and their children set out on an expedition from New York to the southern border. This is what Louis Jeri did in 2014. It is intertwined with the domination and exclusion of Apache culture.
“Crossing this country made me feel another urgency. It’s the urgency to write about political violence against communities that the country considers to be outsiders,” explained Luiseri. “Thinking about the cycle that repeats in the history of violence against a particular community, most often the violence motivated by deep racism in this country travels, tours and sees it, I decided to write “Lost Children Archive”. “
The 37-year-old author has previously been praised by librarians. In 2020, her novel won the Andrew Carnegie medal presented by the American Library Association. At the time, Luiselli called himself a “radical geek”, “perhaps hovering in the library, during stacks, in a quiet reading room, in unusual book and manuscript sections, and behind the lens of a microfilm reader. I remember spending more time than being healthy. “
Prior to the Lost Children Archive, she translated from Spanish to English, including the novel “Face in the Crowd” and the National Critics Circle Award finalist and Los Angeles winner “My Tooth Story.” Was publishing a book that was published. Best Fiction of the Times Awards, and “Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions”, winner of the American Book Awards.
She writes extensively in Spanish. Louis Seri, the daughter of a diplomat’s father and Zapatista’s mother, was born in Mexico City in 1983, but has since lived in several countries in South Africa, South Korea, India, and Europe. She has lived in the United States for 13 years and is waiting for her second daughter, a Somali partner who grew up in Canada.
However, her “center of gravity” remains in Mexico.
“I grew up in a house that always remembers the roots of Mexico,” she said. “I live abroad, the house is in Mexico, it’s our house, and I grew up feeling that we’ll be back someday.”
In the Lost Children Archive, the mother is from the Mexican ethnic group Ñañú indigenous people. One day she met Manuela, a speaker of Oaxaca’s indigenous language, Trike, and asked her to record her speaking this language to record it. Manuela told her that her daughters were on their way from Mexico to see her, but could be arrested and deported. In this way, the mother’s obsession arises when she sees the lost children along the way and imagines what would happen if they were them when traveling with her own children.
As part of the plot, the mother attends a rally with a priest who disappeared in an attack by the US Immigration and Customs Department where authorities attempted to cover the detention quota. A type of Orwell’s ectopic delirium. It took me a while to realize that he wasn’t. It took me a while to realize that the rest of the day … was actually someone’s family who disappeared during the ICE raid, “reads the excerpt.
Luiseri pointed out an increase in detention centers for migrants. According to the National Migration Forum, the United States has the largest immigrant detention system in the world, doubling since 1979 and expanding by 75% in the first decade of the 21st century.
In 2019, about 70,000 immigrant children were detained in the United States. Children are often housed in networks of shelters such as convention centers and military installations. This is what Luiseri calls “ridiculous.”
“It’s ridiculous … it’s become a way to feed the great monsters of the US private prison industry,” the writer said. “Basically they imprison immigrants, thereby earning billions of dollars. Instead of giving them due process, boys or girls make theirs while they process their visas. Instead of allowing them to live with their relatives, they are imprisoned in a children’s center. “
In this book, Luiseri worked directly with Daniel Sardanya Paris to translate the Spanish-edited “Lost Children Archive” by Sexto Piso into “Deciert Sonoro”, a version as vibrant as the original. Did. When writing in Spanish, she works with translator Christina Maxweeney to translate the book into English.
She highlighted other contemporary writers who tackled immigration and border issues, such as Samantash Weblin, Gabriella Jauregi, Brenda Rosano, Christina Rivera Garza, Dolores Dorantes, Natalie Diaz and Fernanda Melchor. Dublin Literary Award.
“I can only think of women who are writing very interesting things about borders,” she said. “Now there is a generation of writers who have a very strong voice on the topics that bother and hurt us.”
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