Books and conversation have been around for ages. Wherever you find a book, there most certainly is a group to discuss and lean into the offerings that appear on the page. People gather to express, to connect, to open up, to relate their understandings with others, and to be invited or met with new perspectives on life, laughter, relationships, and society. There are many book clubs in rotation that serve varying purposes for the audience they captivate; however, this is not a book club.
The Marigold Project will offer book recommendations specific to racial, gender, and economic justice to progress a conversation with the understanding that dialogue is only a fragment. When we are informed and nuanced, the commitment to show up becomes less of an option. This will be a space for gaining knowledge, initiating our education, and leading lives of awareness for conscious action.
We begin this month with Lost Children Archives by Valeria Luiselli.
The U.S. government continues to separate families at the border and asylum seekers are dying while being held in federal immigration custody, in the journey to reach the soil of the United States across a man-made border, the criminality enforced, and the dehumanizing legalities – to which people are starved, withheld basic sanitary needs, and crammed into facilities beyond maximum capacity for profit desires.
When talking about immigration policies, it is important to remember that the state of our country today did not begin with the election of the forty-fifth president, although anti-immigration and xenophobic rhetoric has heightened. Immigration policy in the United States has been reshaped and redrawn throughout history, dating back to the 1800s with rhetoric being supported by law and policy.
Lost Children Archives is a continuation of Luiselli’s mini-book Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions that speaks to the story of a family traveling across the country from New York to Arizona learning about the immigration crisis and the reality of their family soon being intertwined. Lusielli, a Mexican-born author, wrote this book in response to working as a translator in New York City’s federal immigrant court with undocumented refugee children and for her daughter as she was trying to understand what was going on in the world around her, to those around her.
Lusielli’s daughter would say, “Tell me how it ends, Mamma,” and Luiselli only ever answered with “I don’t know how it ends, yet.” This book is the unpacking of that answer, as we are at the pivotal point in history on where this ship is being steered. Who will we be? What will we fight for?