The Leavers

The Leavers

Large Print - 2017
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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. 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. Far from everything he's ever know, Daniel struggles to reconcile his new life with memories of his mother and his past.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, a Cengage Company, 2017
Edition: Large print edition
Copyright Date: ♭2017
ISBN: 9781432841188
Branch Call Number: FIC KO 2017
Characteristics: 603 pages (large print) ; 23 cm


From Library Staff

Nominee, Fiction

The son of an undocumented Chinese immigrant, adopted by two white American college professors, must find his footing in a new world, in a novel that examines the duality of lives.

One morning, eleven-year-old Deming Guo’s mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job and never comes home. Deming is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town. This is a poignant story of a boy who struggles to find ... Read More »

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Oct 29, 2017

Daniel, Deming Guo, was adopted by an American couple under circumstances the reader will much later find out. In the meantime Daniel's life unfolds as he remembers his childhood and those who helped shape his adult life. The author tells her story by taking us deeply into the complexities of an immigrant and their expectations, dreams, and ability to maintain family.
At times I skimmed when the author stayed too long in a situation but overall I found the novel rich in detail and I was easily drawn in.

AL_MARINA Sep 18, 2017

Ko takes us behind the headlines about ICE raids and deportation to flesh out a moving and mournful tale of a son growing up without a mother, her mystery a constant, gnawing puzzle that colors his whole life.

AL_ANNAL Aug 29, 2017

This is a compelling and sensitive story of a Chinese immigrant and her son. Life becomes complicated and you feel for the boy and eventually for his mother as the story unfolds.

Jun 19, 2017

please don't throw tomatoes at me. i could not sympathize with the protagonist at all; at times, i wanted to smack him and say grow up already!

PimaLib_LoisM Jun 09, 2017

The Leavers is one of the best books I've read this year. Deming Guo struggles to find his true identity and sense of belonging after growing up in both New York City and Fouzhou, China. His life at age 6 falls apart when his mother leaves for work at a nail salon and never returns. Deming is adopted by an Anglo couple who are professors at a university, and is renamed Daniel Wilkerson. The story alternates between Deming and his mother's perspectives, and keeps the reader enthralled until the end, when we find out the real story behind why Deming's mother left him.

Jun 05, 2017

Set in New York and China, The Leavers, is told from the perspectives of an American born boy and his undocumented Chinese immigrant mother.
When young Deming Gou's mother Polly disappears, he is adopted by a caucasian couple who are professors in upstate New York and he is renamed Daniel Wilkinson. In his college years, he is overwhelmed by his struggles with identity, his past, and his abandonment by his mother. As the story unfolds, we discover the tragic circumstances leading to the separation of Polly and Deming.
Ko's powerfully written debut novel examines culture, immigration, family, alienation and belonging.
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.

May 13, 2017

Winner of the Barbara Kingsolver Bellwether prize it is an immigrant story that is simply engrossing. It explores the question of of how one finds a a comfortable place after living in two separate and vastly different cultures. One commentator suggest it reflects "the alienation and double consciousness of the first generation". In and odd way it reminds me of the News of the World, although vastly different time and place. I loved this book.

jpainter May 05, 2017

Highly recommended read that tugs at the heart while engaging the mind. This personal narrative presents places, faces, character traits, and backstories that are seamlessly woven to reflect the immigrant experiences of several interconnected families: a mother, a son, foster parents, and caregivers. I savored this book as a galley, but it's just as easily read in one big gulp.


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