Tell Me How it Ends

Valeria Luiselli

Why did you come to the USA?

When a child migrant arrives in the US all alone, this is the first question he or she will be asked.

It’s the beginning of an official interview of forty questions used by the federal immigration court in New York City where Valeria Luiselli works as a volunteer interpreter for the tens of thousands of children from Mexico and Central America being detained at the US border.

But nothing is ever that simple. The children’s stories are always shuffled, stuttered, always shattered beyond the repair of a narrative order. The problem with trying to tell their story is that it has no beginning, no middle, and no end …

‘The first must-read book of the Trump era’ Texas Observer

‘A remarkable little work that says more than books ten times its size’ GQ

‘With anger and lucidity, Luiselli depicts the nightmares these children are forced to flee in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, as well as the destructive ignorance and bigotry that awaits them in America’ Chicago Tribune

‘Harrowing, intimate, quietly brilliant’ New York Times

‘Luiselli takes us inside the grand dream of migration, offering the valuable reminder that exceedingly few immigrants abandon their past and brave death to come to America for dark or nasty reasons. They come as an expression of hope’ NPR

Reviews of Tell Me How it Ends

  • ‘An essay about humanity with its back up against the border wall, and is so true and moving that it filled me with hopeless hope’ Ali Smith

    ‘The first must-read book of the Trump era’ Texas Observer

    ‘Harrowing, intimate, quietly brilliant’ New York Times

    ‘In this compelling, devastating book, Luiselli documents the huge injustices done to the children by both the American and Mexican governments, and by the public who treat them as “illegal aliens”, rather than as what they truly are: refugees of war’ Observer

    ‘Angry and affecting. A slight book with a big impact’ Financial Times

    ‘There are many books addressing the plight of refugees. Tell Me How It Ends – lucid, plain-speaking and authoritative – is one of the most powerful’ Big Issue

    ‘The kind of reading experience that rips your heart out. This is required reading’ Vol. 1 Brooklyn

    ‘A remarkable little work that says more than books ten times its size’ GQ

    ‘With anger and lucidity, Luiselli depicts the nightmares these children are forced to flee in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, as well as the destructive ignorance and bigotry that awaits them in America’ Chicago Tribune

    ‘Combines the skills of a journalist with a novelist’s empathy’ Times Literary Supplement

    ‘Luiselli takes us inside the grand dream of migration, offering the valuable reminder that exceedingly few immigrants abandon their past and brave death to come to America for dark or nasty reasons. They come as an expression of hope’ NPR

    ‘Be prepared to cry. Read it, read it, read it and then share it’ Texas Book Festival

    ‘The very least we can all do is hear these stories. Read this book’ Proximity Magazine