The Leavers


The Leavers by Lisa Lo tells the story of Deming Guo and his mother Polly. After moving to America and being displaced from all that they know, both mother and son struggle to navigate through the hardships of life as Chinese immigrants in the bustling city of NYC. The struggles of living become even more difficult when Polly disappears from work without a trace. Now faced with the sudden loss of his mother, Deming must learn to find his place in a world completely foreign to him. As he adjusts to his adoptive family and new identity, Deming feels torn by the memories of his mother and the community he left behind. Told through the perspective of both mother and son, they each offer an honest depiction of the immigration experience and living life beyond one’s borders.

“Ko gives us an unsparing portrait of the resilience and grit it takes to risk everything to break free of tradition and start over in a foreign land.” – O, Oprah Magazine


Erika Memolo ’19

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