Lost Children Archive: A Novel by Valeria Luiselli:
Do you have a good map of the southwestern United States? I finally ask the bookseller.
We buy the map he recommends—detailed and enormous—though we really don’t need another map. My husband buys a book on the history of horses, the boy chooses an illustrated edition of Golding’s Lord of the Flies, as a companion to the audiobook we’ve been listening to, and the girl, a book called The Book with No Pictures. I don’t buy Kafka’s Diaries, but I buy a book of collected photographs of Emmet Gowin, which I hardly looked through but which was on the last display table before the counter and seemed—suddenly—indispensable. It’s too big to store in any of our bankers boxes, so for now it will live under my feet in the passenger’s seat. I also buy Marguerite Duras’s The Lover, which I read when I was nineteen but have never read in English, as well as the screenplay of Hiroshima Mon Amour, annotated by Duras with stills from Resnais’s film.