Fall 2022: Valeria Luiselli

headshot of author valeria luiselli
Image credit: Diego Berruecos Gatopardo


Lesley University selects Valeria Luiselli’s Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions for this year’s campus-wide text for all incoming first-year students as part of its CLAS Reads initiative. Luiselli skillfully and compassionately explores how the migratory experience helps to define life in twenty-first century in the United States. The author’s previous two novels and her other essay collection focus on themes of belonging, national identity, and dislocation, all of which are present in Tell Me How It Ends. Her work emphasizes the stark reality faced by children fleeing terror back home in Central America as they attempt to cross the border into the United States.

Luiselli worked as an interpreter for Citizenship and Immigration Services, posing a deceptively simple set of questions to hundreds of children, ranging in age from kindergarten to high school. The author elegantly expresses the inchoate shame and rage felt by many Americans who experience firsthand the ever-widening gap between the principles and practices of a supposedly welcoming nation. She links her own story of migration with those of the children she interviews, adding depth and warmth to highlight the hope that each immigrant brings as they cross the border.

Anyone with a Lesley University email address can access the CLAS Reads book electronically.

Past CLAS Reads Authors

Photo of author Nicole R. Fleetwood

Nicole R. Fleetwood

Nicole R. Fleetwood, writer, curator, and the inaugural James Weldon Johnson Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU, gave a Zoom presentation at Lesley in the fall of 2021 on "Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration" (Photo by Sara Bennett).

Photo of Jill Lepore standing in Harvard University gates

Jill Lepore

Jill Lepore, Professor of American History at Harvard University, gave a Zoom presentation at Lesley in the fall of 2020 on her book, that year's CLAS Reads selection, "This America: The Case for the Nation" (Photo by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard University).

Woman with glasses and a blue sweater seated and speaking to a crowd of students

Robin Wall Kimmerer

Robin Wall Kimmerer, indigenous woman and environmentalist author and professor, visited Lesley in the fall of 2019 to discuss her book, the CLAS Reads selection for that year, "Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants."

Suzy Hansen in Alumni Hall.

Suzy Hansen

Author and foreign correspondent Suzy Hansen presented at Lesley in the fall of 2018 on her book, "Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World.”

Past Books and Authors