The Leavers (MP3 CD)

Staff Pick Badge
The Leavers By Lisa Ko, Emily Woo Zeller (Read by) Cover Image
By Lisa Ko, Emily Woo Zeller (Read by)
$29.99
Special Order - There is a small chance we can get this title

Staff Reviews


Born to an immigrant mother in New York, Deming's first six years of life are spent between America, China, to live with a grandfather he's never met, then America again. He adjusts to a childhood with his mother in a colorful New York City only to be torn away again, this time by child protective services after his mother disappears from her job at a nail salon. Without warning, he's dropped into what feels like an alien, all-white suburb upstate and becomes the adoptive child of two professor parents— Deming Guo is now Daniel Wilkinson. This pattern of early upheaval sets Deming definitively on a path that will only ever be his own, one marked by difference and isolated in varying degrees from each of the communities he moves through. As Deming's story continues to unfold, gradually, his mother's testimony also comes to light, filling in holes and ripping others open, until finally, side by side, the disparate journeys of our two protagonists form one complete portrait of the resilience of the spirit. This a heartbreaking, poignant, beautiful, beautiful book that will stay with you for a long time.

— Caroline Froh

Daniel Wilkerson is at a crossroads. Struggling with a gambling addiction, he’s dropped out of college and squatting at a friends’ apartment in New York. Should he stay in New York to make music or return to his well-meaning-but-off-note adoptive parents’ home and try to graduate? There’s only one thing hanging over his head, and that’s an email from a childhood friend who may have a connection to his birth mom. You see Daniel Wilkerson is also Deming Guo, the son of Polly (Peilan), a Fuzhounese woman who was working at a nail parlor and disappeared when he was a preteen. Lisa Go’s first novel gracefully jumps from mother to son, from past to present and back again, as it stitches together a timely story of two people searching for connection and meaning. It’s this year’s worthy winner of the PEN/Bellwether Prize, an award for a previously unpublished manuscript of socially engaged fiction, founded by Barbara Kingsolver.

— Daniel Goldin

May 2017 Indie Next List


“Deming Guo's first six years of life were spent with his immigrant mother in New York, then China with a grandfather he's never met, and America again. After his mother disappears from her job at a nail salon, Deming is adopted by two professors and dropped into what feels like an alien, all-white suburb upstate. This pattern of early upheaval sets Deming - now Daniel Wilkinson - on a path marked by difference and isolation. As Deming's story unfolds, his mother's side of the story gradually comes to light, filling in holes and ripping others open, until finally, side by side, their disparate journeys form one complete portrait of the resilience of the spirit. This is a heartbreaking, poignant, beautiful book that will stay with you for a long time.”
— Caroline Froh, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

Summer 2018 Reading Group Indie Next List


“In a time when immigration is a political issue, this novel puts a human face on a very complex situation. It tells the story of a woman who came to New York from China, created a family, was deported, and what happened after her sudden disappearance. This is an ambitious and compelling novel, told in sections alternating between Polly’s brash, bold, determined, loving, and frightened voice and son Deming’s confused, lonely, troubled one as he grows up under the adopted name of Daniel. Chosen by Barbara Kingsolver for the Bellwether Prize for the best novel to address issues of social justice, The Leavers will open your eyes and your heart.”
— Yvette Olson, Magnolia's Bookstore, Seattle, WA



Product Details
ISBN: 9781665145770
ISBN-10: 1665145773
Publisher: HighBridge Audio
Publication Date: May 2nd, 2017
Language: English