Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions by Valeria Luiselli

Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions by Valeria Luiselli

TW – this review contains references to sexual assault

a nutshell: a short, narrative nonfiction book bearing witness to the suffering of undocumented children navigating the US immigration system, drawing on Luiselli’s work as a volunteer court translator in New York

a line: “It is perhaps not the American Dream they pursue, but rather the more modest aspiration to wake up from the nightmare into which they were born”

an image: the writer describes seeing child migrants enter the court system as like being stood with hands and feet tied, powerless, watching kids try to cross a busy avenue with cars speeding by

a thought: rather than writing off these children as “illegals” or “aliens” we should regard them as refugees of a hemispheric war (in which the US has long been complicit), Luiselli argues, all of whom have the right to asylum

a fact: the writer notes the horrifying reality that 80% of the women and girls who cross Mexico to get to the US border are raped on the journey


want to read Tell Me How It Ends? visit here

The Iliac Crest by Cristina Rivera Garza (tr. Sarah Booker)

a nutshell: a quick, vaguely terrifying story about an intrusion into one’s home and mind – in fact, the crisscrossing of many existential borders

a line: “You grow accustomed to this: laughing in the face of the languages you don’t understand”

an image: flocks of pelicans repeatedly fly overhead, disappearing always into the same unknown place in the sky

a thought: or rather, thoughtlessness on my part – I assumed the narrator was a woman until alerted otherwise; it seemed like I had a subconscious preconception that women only write women (turns out, gender is a significant issue in the book in any case!)

a fact:  the translator (Sarah Booker)’s note points to The Iliac Crest’s context – an outbreak of femicides at the start of the 20th century, which prompted the author to highlight the disappearing/silencing of women’s bodies


want to read The Iliac Crest? visit here