The Leavers - Paperback

The Leavers

Ko, Lisa

This award-winning debut and 2017 National Book Award finalist—by the author of the new novel Memory Piece—is a moving story of how a boy comes into his own when everything he loves is taken away, and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of the past. "Required reading.” —Ann Patchett

One morning, Deming Guo’s mother, Polly, an undocumented Chinese immigrant, goes to her job at a nail salon—and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her.
With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left mystified and bereft. Eventually adopted by a pair of well-meaning white professors, Deming is moved from the Bronx to a small town upstate and renamed Daniel Wilkinson. But far from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his adoptive parents’ desire that he assimilate with his memories of his mother and the community he left behind.
Told from the perspective of both Daniel—as he grows into a directionless young man—and Polly, Ko’s novel gives us one of fiction’s most singular mothers. Loving and selfish, determined and frightened, Polly is forced to make one heartwrenching choice after another.

Set in New York and China, Lisa Ko’s The Leavers shares a vivid examination of borders and belonging, which earned it the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Fiction, awarded by Barbara Kingsolver for a novel that addresses issues of social justice.

Named a Best Book of 2017 by NPR, Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, BuzzFeed, Bustle, and Electric Literature


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