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Lisa Ko Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Leavers (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Lisa Ko is an author, who is widely known for the award-winning novel, The Leavers. The Leavers emerged the winner during the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize. Lisa Ko was born and raised in New York City. Ko’s parents are of Chines descent and had immigrated from the Philippines. Ko began penning down stories in her journal at the tender age of 5. However, despite penning down stories at five years old, Ko had to wait until high school, when she began sharing her work. Most of her teachers were peased with her work and encouraged Lisa Ko to continue with her dreams. When she completed her high school education, Lisa Ko was then admitted to Wesleyan University, where she was awarded a bachelor’s degree in English. After graduating from Wesleyan University, she began working at Hyphen Magazine, where she served as an editor.

In the year 2017, Lisa Ko published with Angoliquin books her debut novel, Leavers. In the year 016, Lisa Ko was awarded a 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize. The PEN award was established by one, Barbara Kingsolver, and any recipient of the award is given a 25,000-dollar prize and a book contract. The novel Leavers was inspired by a story that was published by the New York Times that was centered on an immigrant woman who had been held in solitary confinement for approximately two years.

Lis Ko Best Books
The Leavers
The Leavers, the first book by author Lisa Ko is utterly exquisite. It is the story about two individuals who are struggling between doing what is right and what is wrong, as well as doing what they want and what people expect them to do. The Leavers is not only powerful but also tremendously moving. Just as the title of the novel suggests, the Leavers is about the individuals who leave and the impact that it has on those who are left behind. Author, Lisa Ko begins by first introducing the readers to Deming Guo, an 11-year-old boy. Domingo is being raised by Polly, his lovely mother. Polly happens to be an undocumented Chinese Immigrant who resides in a Bronx department with her boyfriend, her daughter, and nephew who happens to be Deming Guo’s surrogate brother.

Despite the fact that she works at a local nail salon, Polly wants more in life. With the job at the local salon being overly demanding, Polly hopes to get a job that will enable her to make money and not claim her life in the process. Deming, on the other hand, wants her mother to be around him all the time. However, he still wants her to have money so that he can have whatever he wants. One fine morning, Polly decided to leave her job and never looked back. Initially, no one believed that Polly had left. However, after some time they began to come to terms with the matter at hand. No one in the small community knew exactly why Polly had left. They begin to ask questions whether she relocated to Florida to look for a better job opportunity and whether she was going to send for her son when she finally stabilized.

However, if this was the case, her friends cannot help but wonder why Polly had not gotten in touch with any of them. Deming Guo, on the other hand, tries to understand why his mother had decided t leave him behind. Thus, he decides that he is not only going to do better in school, but he is also going to be a little bit nicer to his peers. Deming still hopes that his mother will eventually return. Nonetheless, it does not take long before those who were left behind begin to struggle taking care of Deming Guo. Eventually, he is adopted into a foster home of two college professors, Peter and Kay. The two college eventually inform Deming that for him to settle in with his peers in upstate New York, he should change his name from Deming to Daniel. While Deming faces some challenges when adjusting, the two college professors still battle whether they are best-suited to be his parents.

The Leavers follows the protagonist, Daniel as he transforms into a rudderless man, who is torn between pleasing his parents and wanting to pursue his dreams. Furthermore, he is also afraid that his new parents are going to leave him behind just the way his mother did. Apart from that, the Leavers also traces the struggles that the protagonist faces as he tries to establish what happened to his loving mother. He also tries to establish whether he was going to follow various leads, which may have been present to him. Furthermore, the Leavers also follows his mother’s childhood in rural China, all the way to the day that she decided to leave.

With that said, author Lisa Ko’s storytelling is truly heartbreaking. She has managed to create two captivating characters, who are going to capture the reader’s hearts and will also stay in the reader’s memories. None of these two main characters are fully admirable and many at times the actions that they make are truly frustrating. However, the readers will be able to understand their struggles and feel sorry for them also. While some of the characters re going to make decisions which will either frustrate or anger the readers, the readers will get to see that both these characters are truly complex. Readers are going to fall in love with the Leavers. The Leavers is a narrative about family; the family that one is born with versus, the family that one ends up with. The readers can easily identify with every single character in the Leavers, especially those who have had to go through similar situations.

The Leavers is a narrative about letting go, even when letting go appears to be an impossible feat. It is a narrative about our fears and hopes, love and loss and how we can cope up with these situations. Lisa Ko has managed to deliver a brilliant novel. Ko’s words will envelop the readers. All the characters in the Leavers are not only well-thought out but also are descriptive and beautiful. The Leavers is a narrative that will definitely touch the readers in a myriad of ways.

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