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The Leavers by Lisa Ko
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The Leavers

A Novel

$34.49 USD

Get for $14.99 with membership
Narrator Emily Woo Zeller
Length 14 hours 52 minutes
Language English
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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.

Lisa Ko's fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2016, Narrative, Copper Nickel, and the Asian Pacific American Journal. She has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Writers OMI at Ledig House, the Jerome Foundation, and Blue Mountain Center, among others. A founding coeditor of Hyphen and a fiction editor at Drunken Boat, Lisa was born in Queens and lives in Brooklyn.

Emily Woo Zeller began her voice-over career by voicing animation in Asia. She returned to the United States in 2009 and found a natural fit as an audiobook narrator. Described by AudioFile magazine as doing "an extraordinary job of varying the voices in the dialogue without losing the intimacy of the story," Emily's multilingual, multicultural framework brings a particularly unique, clear-eyed, and intimate perspective into Asian American narratives. While she specializes in Asian American narratives, Emily's work spans a broad spectrum, including young adult fiction and such titles as The Whites of Their Eyes by Jill Lepore and The Sex Diaries Project by Arianne Cohen. She also narrated Gulp by Mary Roach, for which she won an AudioFile Earphones Award.

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