Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli wins Fernanda Pivano Award

Luiselli's book, Lost Children Archive, addresses the experience of young migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border

Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli wins Fernanda Pivano Award
Valeria Luiselli is Mexican writer living in New York - Photo: File photo7EL UNIVERSAL
English 21/07/2020 15:44 Mexico City Actualizada 15:32
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Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli has won the Fernanda Pivano Award for the Italian edition of her novel Archive of Lost Children. Published by The New Frontier.

The author born in Mexico City in 1983 and who lives in the United States, has won the 17th edition of the Wing Violence Award with a novel stemmed from the work she did with migrant children and teenagers at the shared border between Mexico and the United States.

The award-winning novel takes place at the border and blends politics and dramatic histories in a narration of voices and writing. When it was published in Mexico in 2019, Luiselli told EL UNIVERSAL that this is her most moving novel because it is written with anger, with a broken heart, and with a mind that fights to remain clear and focused.

Luiselli is the author of the essay books Sidewalks (2010), Tell Me How It Ends (2017), and the novels Faces in The Crowd (2011) and The Story of My Teeth (2013) that have been translated into multiple languages and have been internationally acclaimed.

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She has collaborated with publications like The New York Times, Granta, McSweeney’s, and Letras Libres. She has been a scriptwriter for the New York City Ballet and often works with art galleries, such as the Serpentine Gallery in London and the Jumex Collection in Mexico. She currently lives in New York.

Starting on this edition, the Fernanda Pivano Award opened the prize to writers living in the United States without citizenship. The award will be presented as part of the new Santa Margherita Ligure Disobedience Festival that will take place in Autumn.

Last year, Valeria Luiselli became the first Mexican to be included in the Booker Prize longlist. She was selected for her novel Lost Children Archive, which addresses the situation of migrant children in the U.S.

Besides being nominated to the Booker Prize, Valeria Luiselli was part of the jury of another award, the 2020 International Booker (biennial) for a living writer of any nationality that has been translated to English and published in the UK or Ireland, says the Prize on its website.

Moreover, Luiselli was included in a list published by The Guardian that recognizes the best 100 books of the 21st century. The list includes from stunning debut novels to publications of memoir and the history of humankind.

Luiselli is in 83rd place of the list thanks to her book Tell Me How it Ends.  An essay in 40 questions, which was translated by Lizzie Davis.

The summary of the publication mentions that as the migration to the U.S. issue started to develop, Luiselli worked as an interpreter in a federal court. This text was created based on her experience and she tells the stories of the children she met.

The book is a brutal and intimate testimony that observes the reality of migrant children from a distance between the intention to solve the distress they face and the impotence caused by the impossibility of helping them.

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In addition, Valeria Luiselli became the first woman to be awarded the Rathbones Folio Prize thanks to the same book, which also won the Women’s Prize for Fiction and was Luiselli’s first book to be translated in English.
 
“We’re all fascinated for being able to celebrate the originality and braveness of the novel: A road trip, a documentary, a portrait of a family and of the U.S. border, a journey to the idea of home and belonging. This is a singular and overwhelming book, really extraordinary,” as asserted Paul Farley, president of the jury for the Rathbones Folio 2020 Prize.

“Lost Children Archive, by Valeria Luiselli, is a book that will have a powerful and enduring impact in readers everywhere,” said Paul Stockton, Rathbones’ CEO, about the novel.

Valeria Luiselli won another international award a couple of years ago. In 2018, she received the American Book Award for "Tell Me How It Ends" An Essay in 40 Questions, which also made her a runner-up for the National Book Critics Circle Awards. In that publication, she tells her experience as a translator in New York’s Migration Court for the defense of migrant children.

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