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

Book traces ‘the map of violence related to drug trafficking’ from Mexico to New York

Luiselli took a career break to translate for the ‘hundreds of thousands’ of children fleeing South and Central America

Luiselli took a career break to translate for the ‘hundreds of thousands’ of children fleeing South and Central America

Sat, Feb 24, 2018, 00:00

   
 

Book Title:
Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions

ISBN-13:
9780008271923

Author:
Valeria Luiselli

Publisher:
4th Estate

Guideline Price:
£6.99

Describing in detail the “absurd circular nightmare” that is migration, Valeria Luiselli, a young Mexican academic in New York, takes a forced career break to translate for the “hundreds of thousands” of children frantically fleeing Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico, not so much “in search of the American dream but to wake up from the nightmare into which they are born”.

Tracing “the map of violence related to drug trafficking” from Mexico to New York as gangs and “pandilleros” inflict unimaginable horrors, and cocaine travels North to an insatiable United States market, Luiselli pleads the case of the vulnerable.

Just as refugees from the Middle East would gladly stay put if the bombing stopped, Luiselli suggests those in power admit “historical participation in the circumstances that created the problem” – as opposed to blaming refugees.

There’s kind of a happy ending. Luiselli’s students, galvanized by her stories from the front line, get organised: “Prof! We gotta turn all our emotional s**t into political capital, Yo!” We do indeed.