Waiting on Wednesday- Spotlight on The Leavers by Lisa Ko

New WoW“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.

My “Waiting On” Wednesday selection for this week is The Leavers by Lisa Ko. Based on the description and the advance reviews I’ve read so far, The Leavers sounds like it’s going to be an incredibly moving read and one whose subject matter is quite timely. I’m also a huge fan of Barbara Kingsolver so seeing her praise for this book has me that much more excited, as does seeing that it was the winner of the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for fiction, which is awarded by Barbara Kingsolver for a novel that addresses issues of social justice.

The Leavers

by Lisa Ko

Publication Date:  May 2, 2017

From Amazon:

An emotionally harrowing debut novel that explores assimilation and loss, immigration and homeland, independence and connection.

One morning, Deming Guo’s mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job at the nail salon and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her.

With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left with no one to care for him. He is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town upstate. They rename him Daniel Wilkinson in their efforts to make him over into their version of an “all-American boy.” But far away from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his new life with his mother’s disappearance and the memories of the family and community he left behind.

Set in New York and China, The Leavers is a vivid and moving examination of borders and belonging. It’s the story of how one boy comes into his own when everything he’s loved has been taken away–and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of her past.

This powerful debut is the winner of the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for fiction, awarded by Barbara Kingsolver for a novel that addresses issues of social justice.

Check out this advance praise for The Leavers

 “Courageous, sensitive, and perfectly of this moment.” —Barbara Kingsolver, author of Flight Behavior

“A rich and sensitive portrait of lives lived across borders, cultures, and languages. The Leavers is one of the most engaging, deeply probing, and beautiful books I have read this year.” —Laila Lalami, author of The Moor’s Account

“A moving mother/son story and welcome contribution to immigrant literature. In writing about Polly and her son Deming, Ko captures one family’s unique experience of becoming American while also exposing the loss of status, economic desperation, physical endangerment, and psychological grit of the undocumented worker as well as the alienation, double consciousness, mobility, and comparative access of the first generation.”  –Emily Raboteau, author of Searching for Zion

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I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your WoW selection for this week. 🙂

10 replies
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      You’re welcome! Yes, so far this one has been pretty low key compared to some of the other 2017 releases. I’m not sure why but I’ll definitely be reading it when it comes out.

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Yes, I seem to have a thing for books that I know are going to break my heart. I’m not sure what that says about me, haha 🙂

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