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RSS FeedsValeria Luiselli: `Children chase after life, even if it ends up killing them`
(The Guardian Mexico)


8 march 2019 12:07:45

Valeria Luiselli: `Children chase after life, even if it ends up killing them`
(The Guardian Mexico)

The Mexican-born authorīs work with young migrants on the Mexico-US border inspired her new novel, Lost Children Archive. She talks about liberal Americaīs political awakeningA few years after Valeria Luiselli began writing Lost Children Archive, her third novel and the first she has written in English, she broke off to write something more urgent. For months, Luiselli, who was born in Mexico and lives in the United States, had been volunteering as an interpreter for undocumented child migrants appealing for asylum in the US. It was heartbreaking and hard, and none of those she helped to find pro bono lawyers has, in the years since, been given permanent leave to stay. Luiselliīs writing stalled and in a fever she wrote Tell Me How It Ends, a non-fiction account of the terrible plight of these children. `I couldnīt think or write about anything else. That book was personal testimony to what I was seeing.`What she was seeing was this: traumatised children who had entered the country, unaccompanied, aboard La Bestia - `the beast` - a network of freight trains on the roofs of which half a million Central Americans ride annually. It is terrifically dangerous. Those who donīt fall on to the tracks risk death from exposure, overhanging branches, or rape and violence from smugglers, thieves and police who attack people onboard. `There is a saying about La Bestia,` writes Luiselli. `Go in alive, come out a mummy.` But of course, `children do what their stomachs tell them to do. They chase after life, even if that chase might end up killing them.` If and when they finally reach the US, they fall into the hands of immigration officers known to shout: `Speak English! Now youīre in America!`, and a new nightmare begins.Stories are told in a way that is never humanising of the people involved. Itīs either `surgesī, or `massesī Continue reading...
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