After reading Valeria Luiselli’s book Tell Me How it Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions, I immediately fell in love. Luiselli details her experience as a volunteer translator for a nonprofit organization that aims at helping unaccompanied migrant children get acclimated to life in the U.S. and avoid deportation, if possible. As a Mexican immigrant, I found myself identifying with many of the issues Luiselli explores such as being referred to as an “alien” by the U.S. court system and having to leave one’s native country in order to avoid falling victim to the rising crime that often robs many children in Latin American countries of their childhood and innocence.
Valeria Luiselli's "Tell Me How It Ends"
Luiselli’s book explores everything from human rights, immigration, and the political climate surrounding these issues, to the very personal details of why many of these children decided to leave their native country behind. Although this may seem like a lot to tackle in one book, she accomplishes this by framing her book through the 40 questions she posed to undocumented children facing deportation. For example, she highlights the dangers facing these children through her interview with Manu, a young child fleeing from Honduras to the U.S. in order to avoid being murdered for refusing to join the notorious gang MS-13. His story perfectly highlights the human rights issues immigrants face in their home countries as the local police fail to take Manu’s case seriously.
I think this is a very good book for anyone looking to learn more about the immigration issue in the U.S. and wanting to better understand why it is happening and why many children have chosen to migrate to the U.S. rather than to other Latin American countries.
I would encourage anyone interested in the book to take part in the One Book, One Campus, One Community program, which will be discussing Luiselli’s book February 27 in the Wells Libary and March 24 in the Monroe County Public Library. The discussions will be led by IU faculty and focus on starting a great conversation about the issues portrayed in the book. You can attend and be a part of this important conversation.
Also, as part of the Mexico Remixed Festival, Valeria Luiselli will give a reading at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater on Thursday, March 28 at 7:30pm. Luiselli will read from her latest novel, Lost Children Archives, and the reading will be followed by a book signing. This event is free to the public and a wonderful opportunity for people to better inform themselves about the current immigration issue facing America. You can get your tickets through the Buskirk-Chumley box office.