Take Note: Lisa Ko On Her National Book Award Finalist, "The Leavers"

Mar 16, 2018

Lisa Ko, author of "The Leavers."
Credit Lisa Ko

Author Lisa Ko's debut novel, "The Leavers," won the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction and was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award. The novel explores issues relating to immigration and identity after Polly Guo, an undocumented Chinese immigrant, goes to work one morning and never returns home. Her 11-year-old son, Deming, is placed in foster care and eventually adopted by a white family that changes his name to Daniel. The majority of the story is told from Deming's perspective 10 years later, as he continues to feel the impact of his mother's absence and searches for the truth about her disappearance. WPSU's Adison Godfrey talked with Ko about the questions raised by her novel and the social change she hopes her novel inspires.