Questions for Discussion

Questions about Style: 

The book The Leavers uses dual narration of both first-person and third-person to convey the troubling immigration experience of Deming and his mother living in America. How does Ko’s use of first and third person narration impact your understanding of the text? Do you believe her style of narration was effective in telling the story of Deming and his mother?

Questions about Historical and Sociopolitical Relevance: 

One of the major themes of the text explores the Modern Day Immigration experience. How does this relate to the political climate of Immigration Laws today?

How much did you know about Chinese culture before reading this book? Did your perspective of the culture change through hearing the story of Deming and his mother?

Polly comes to America to seek an abortion but ends up bearing a child out of wedlock. During her time in New York City she constantly strives to overcome feelings of complacency and maintain her own form of independence. How does her story differ from other migration stories?  

Questions about the Author: 

Lisa Ko was born and raised in America but became devoted to telling the story of Chinese Immigration through her exposure to other Chinese writers. From learning this, does this impact your impression of the text? Would you have felt differently if she spoke from personal experience as a Chinese-American immigrant?


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Erika Memolo ’19

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