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The Leavers
352 pages; Algonquin Books
Here is imperative reading: a vivid fictional exploration of what it means to belong and what it feels like when you don't. In her central characters, an iron-willed undocumented Chinese immigrant and her American-born son, 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.