A NovelBook - 2017
FINALIST FOR THE 2017 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION
Named a Best Book of 2017 by NPR, Entertainment Weekly , the Los Angeles Times , BuzzFeed , Bustle , and Electric Literature
"There was a time I would have called Lisa Ko's novel beautifully written, ambitious, and moving, and all of that is true, but it's more than that now: if you want to understand a forgotten and essential part of the world we live in, The Leavers is required reading." --Ann Patchett, author of Commonwealth
Lisa Ko's powerful debut, The Leavers , is the winner of the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Fiction, awarded by Barbara Kingsolver for a novel that addresses issues of social justice.
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, The Leavers is a vivid examination of borders and belonging. It's 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.
Featured Blogs and Events
Was All the Light We Cannot See all it was cracked up to be? Polli and Kate have different feels on the issue... Bookish News: The 2017 National Book Award shortlist for Fiction Dark at the Crossing by Elliot Ackerman The Leavers by Lisa Ko (eBook on Hoopla!) Pachinko by Min Jin Lee Her Body and Other Parties: Stories by Carmen Maria Machado Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward Kazuo Ishigu... (more)
From Library Staff
LPL_MaryW Apr 03, 2021
In the summer of 2018, my mum and I met up for a holiday to visit our family in Malaysia—she traveled from the U.K. and I traveled from Hong Kong, where I was living and working for this magazine. We called it our “girls road trip,” starting in her hometown in Penang, before traveling down the pe... Read More »
"There was a time I would have called Lisa Ko's novel beautifully written, ambitious, and moving, and all of that is true, but it's more than that now: if you want to understand a forgotten and essential part of the world we live in, The Leavers is required reading." --Ann Patchett, au... Read More »
LPL_ShirleyB Apr 15, 2019
This complex coming of age story is set in China and New York. This book won the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction.