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6 must-read books written by the 2019 MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant Winners

See the acclaimed works produced by this year's MacArthur Fellows, which include genre-bending novels, graphic nonfiction, and new takes on the classics.

Lost Children Archive by author Valeria Luiselli

From the MacArthur Foundation: Luiselli is honored for “challenging conventional notions of authorship in fiction, essays, and inventive hybrids of the two that pose profound questions about the various ways we piece together stories and document the lives of others.”

Valeria Luiselli, a 36-year-old writer-in-residence at Bard College, is the author of the essay collection Papeles Falsos (translated into English as Sidewalks) and the novel Los ingrávidos (translated into English as Faces in the Crowd). Her novel The Story of My Teeth earned a wealth of rave reviews from a number of publications and her nonfiction book Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. Her most recent book, Lost Children Archive, is also a finalist for the Kirkus Prize in addition to being longlisted for the Booker Prize. “What Luiselli has pulled off here is a twist on the great American road trip novel, a book about alienation that chronicles fractures, divides, and estrangement—of both a family and a country. It’s a remarkable feat of empathy and intellectuality that showcases Luiselli’s ability to braid the political, historical, and personal while explicitly addressing the challenges of figuring out how to tell the very story she’s telling,” praises NPR.

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