HighBridge Audio

Skip to Main Content »

Category Navigation:

Search Site

The Leavers

Fiction: Literary
Unabridged   15 hour(s)
Publication date: 05/02/2017

Winner of the PEN/Bellwether Prize
National Book Award Fiction Shortlist
LA Times Best Books of 2017
Oprah's Favorite Books

The Leavers

A Novel

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781681685083
Digital Download ISBN:9781681685090


An emotionally harrowing debut novel that explores assimilation and loss, immigration and homeland, independence and connection.

Be the first to review this product
Email to a Friend

Product Description

One morning, Deming Guo's mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job at the nail salon and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her. 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. They rename him Daniel Wilkinson in their efforts to make him over into their version of an "all-American boy." But far away from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his new life with his mother's disappearance and the memories of the family and community he left behind.

Set in New York and China, The Leavers is a vivid and moving examination of borders and belonging. It's the story of how one boy comes into his own when everything he's loved has been taken away—and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of her past.


"Zeller maintains emotional engagement throughout the story of Deming, a boy whose mother, a Chinese immigrant, mysteriously disappears when he is only 11, leaving him to be adopted by a white couple." —AudioFile

"Lisa Ko's The Leavers is read by Emily Woo Zeller and is enhanced by her clear and passionate voice . . . a vivid audio story that's hard to stop listening to." —Donovan's Literary Services

"Thoroughly researched and ambitious in scope . . . Lisa Ko has taken the headlines and reminded us that beyond them lie messy, brave, extraordinary, ordinary lives." —New York Times

"The Leavers is a thoughtful work about undocumented immigrants and the threats they endure." —BookPage

Author Bio

Lisa Ko's fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2016, Narrative, Copper Nickel, and the Asian Pacific American Journal. She has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Writers OMI at Ledig House, the Jerome Foundation, and Blue Mountain Center, among others. A founding coeditor of Hyphen and a fiction editor at Drunken Boat, Lisa was born in Queens and lives in Brooklyn.