Valeria Luiselli's Lost Children Archive (2019) explores how to find “lost children” who are forced to migrate and interrogates relationships among works of literature, archives, and archiving. Taking place contemporaneously with its publication, the novel follows Ma, Pa, and their two children who are stepsiblings on a road trip from New York City to the US Southwest. Along the way, characters take photographs, and, more unusually, record their own voices and the sounds of the environments they pass through. This article extends explorations of how sound works in the novel to how sound works as the novel by comparing the written text with the audiobook version. After situating the novel among discussions of how literature can contribute to archive making, employing Anne Gilliland and Michelle Caswell's notion of “impossible archival imaginaries” and Erica Johnson's notion of the “neo‐archive,” the article shows that readers and audiobook listeners ultimately experience a different narrative. This comparison exposes a third layer of information that prompts questions about what can — and can't — be learned from written and oral records on their own. The article concludes proposing that this third layer of information suggests new possibilities for how literature can contribute to understandings of how archives can include the experiences of marginalized communities with more nuance and complexity.

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