Until I Find You: Disappeared Children and Coercive Adoptions in Guatemala


Product Details

Harvard University Press
Publish Date
6.3 X 9.2 X 1.3 inches | 1.05 pounds

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About the Author

Rachel Nolan is Contributing Editor at Harper's Magazine and has written for the New Yorker, the London Review of Books, the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, and the Salvadoran investigative news outlet El Faro. She is Assistant Professor of International Relations at Boston University.


Hugely ambitious. With painstaking research and deep sensitivity, Nolan addresses an important and little-studied topic, getting close to stories that are often shrouded in secrecy.--Betsy Konefal, author of For Every Indio Who Falls: A History of Maya Activism in Guatemala, 1960-1990
Important, compelling reading. Nolan has interviewed countless people, obtained access to adoption files, read the human rights reports, and sorted through the legal history. This will become a key, authoritative account of the deeply corrupt state of Guatemalan adoption from the 1970s to the 2000s.--Laura Briggs, author of Taking Children: A History of American Terror
Like a dark historical fairy tale pulled from a bewitched archive, Until I Find You illuminates the Guatemalan international adoption trade's cruel corruption and heartrending complexities in a boldly original way. Nolan's meticulous research and her beautifully lucid, empathetic writing show how the seemingly benign event of the foreign adoption of an innocent child leaves behind an invisible trail of personal, economic, political, and essentially imperial horrors.--Francisco Goldman, author of The Art of Political Murder and Monkey Boy
A staggeringly brilliant work of the heart and the head. One can't read Nolan's story of forced adoptions in Guatemala and not come away both shaken and intellectually challenged. I've read many books on Cold War political violence--but never one that pulls you in, that makes you feel as well as think, as much as this tour de force.--Greg Grandin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America
With a historian's eye and a journalist's pen, Nolan delves into the dark heart of Guatemalan adoption, a powerful story of state genocide, brutal economic and racial inequality, and a privatized, unregulated adoption market. Revealing the fuzzy boundaries between coercion and consent, legality and illegality, markets and trafficking, facts and rumor, she shows how the extraordinary violence of war gave way to the everyday violence of peacetime--and how children, especially Indigenous children, have been victims of both.--Nara Milanich, author of Paternity: The Elusive Quest for the Father
A deeply reported, sobering history.--Cora Currier "New Republic" (1/25/2024 12:00:00 AM)
The author has provided an essential history and analysis of forced adoption in Guatemala over a 40-year period and the socio-political dynamics that enabled this poor country to play such an infamous role in a tragic global story of human-trafficking. ...Until I Find You is a hard-hitting and disturbing insight into a dark corner of global capitalism, the profoundly racist attitudes of the Global North, and the most despicable of human vices.--Gavin O'Toole "Latin American Review of Books" (12/13/2023 12:00:00 AM)
Detailed and heartrending...uses years of research to show the way that a country destabilized by war can invite merciless profiteers to break apart families...and allow others overseas to reconfigure them according to their own desires.--John Washington "Harper's" (4/1/2024 12:00:00 AM)
Moves fluidly between political context and personal stories...[Nolan] wants us to reckon with this cold reality; with these blurred boundaries of coercion and consent, legality and illegality. She urges us to question how an international marketplace for children, in which so many predatory players acted with impunity, was allowed to flourish.--Anna Temkin "Times Literary Supplement" (3/22/2024 12:00:00 AM)