Press

Real Simple

The Leavers is one of “five books that won’t disappoint” in the May 2017 issue of Real Simple: “Poignant and timely, this novel is ripe for discussion.”

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Marie Claire

Marie Claire calls The Leavers a “must-read” in its May 2017 issue.

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Library Reads Selection

The Leavers is one of ten Library Reads selections for May 2017: “This is a poignant story of a boy who struggles to find his footing in a new world [and] an unflinching look at the difficult decisions a mother faces.”

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Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers Selection

Barnes & Noble chose The Leavers as one of its Summer 2017 Discover New Writers Selections.

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Indie Next Great Reads

The Leavers is one of the American Booksellers Association’s May 2017 Indie Next Great Reads:  “This is a heartbreaking, poignant, beautiful book that will stay with you for a long time.”

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The Washington Post: 38 Books We Can’t Wait to Read This Spring

The Washington Post includes The Leavers on its list of 38 books they can’t wait to read this spring.

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Redbook: 20 Summer Beach Reads to Stock Up on Now

Redbook calls The Leavers “a masterful debut novel that examines borders and belonging, and the universal desire for love” in its Best Books of Summer 2017.

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Kveller: Ten Awesome Books to Read On Spring Break and Beyond

Kveller calls The Leavers “a searing novel about a mother and son who are separated by forces beyond their control in New York, a book that promises to challenge our perceptions of immigration, adoption, family and American values.”

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Buzzfeed’s Incredible New Books You Need to Read This Spring

In its list of 31 Incredible New Books You Need to Read This Spring, Buzzfeed says: “Vividly written and moving, The Leavers is an engrossing story of one young boy struggling to adjust to his new life without his mother and community.”

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Relevant: 9 Books to Add to Your Summer Reading List

Relevant Magazine writes: “Ko’s debut novel is a strikingly timely work that illuminates the challenges and fragility of the immigrant experience in the United States. Ko’s writing is crisp and her characters brilliantly reflect the good and the brokenness of our human existence.”

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Starred Review from Library Journal

“Touching upon themes such as identity, determination, addiction, and loyalty, the author clearly shows readers that she is an emerging writer to watch. Ko’s writing is strong, and her characters, whether major or minor, are skillfully developed.” Library Journal also featured The Leavers in its list of Great First Acts: Debut Novels.

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Electric Literature: 34 Books by Women of Color to Read This Year

The Leavers is on Electric Literature’s list of 2017 books written by women of color.

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Starred Review from Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly gave The Leavers a starred review and called it  “a sweeping examination of family…. Ko’s stunning tale of love and loyalty—to family, to country—is a fresh and moving look at the immigrant experience in America, and is as timely as ever.” 

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Chicago Review of Books

The Leavers is one of 10 new books that can help you survive the first six months of the Trump regime and one of the most exciting fiction books of 2017’s first half, according to the Chicago Review of Books. 

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Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly calls The Leavers one of 16 debut novels to read in 2017 and “a smashing debut” in its February 3/10, 2017 issue

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Read it Forward: 17 Books We’re Excited to Read in 2017

The Leavers is one of Read it Forward’s 17 Books We’re Excited to Read in 2017: “A perfectly timed novel for this political landscape, The Leavers is an intense and poignant examination of immigration and those marked by it.”

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TIME: 25 Female-Driven Books, Movies, and Shows We Can’t Wait to Get Our Hands on in 2017

TIME calls The Leavers  “one of 2017’s most anticipated fiction debuts… as relevant as ever as the future of immigrants in America hangs in the balance.”

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Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus calls The Leavers “a timely novel [that] depicts the heart- and spirit-breaking difficulties faced by illegal immigrants with meticulous specificity.”

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Buzzfeed: The 32 Most Exciting Books Coming in 2017

Buzzfeed’s list of the most exciting books coming in 2017 includes The Leavers

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The Millions: Most Anticipated Books

The Leavers is on The Millions’ Most Anticipated: The Great 2017 Book Preview list

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NYLON’s Books We Can’t Wait to Read

The Leavers is one of NYLON’s 50 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2017

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Bustle’s Most Anticipated Fiction Books

Bustle listed The Leavers as one of 2017’s Most Anticipated Fiction Books and one of 7 Reasons 2017 Is Going to Be an Incredible Year for Book Lovers.

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Library Journal Top Debut Novels

The Leavers was named one of the top debut novels for May 2017, according to Library Journal. 

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Indies Introduce Pick

The Leavers has been selected by the American Booksellers Association as an Indies Introduce Pick – one of the top 10 debut titles of Winter/Spring 2017.

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PEN Ten Interview

Check out my PEN Ten Interview, where I share my obsessions, thoughts on surveillance and censorship, and my long journey to claiming an identity as a writer.

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Interview on Drunken Boat Blog

My co-fiction editor at Drunken Boat, Sybil Baker, interviewed me for the journal’s blog, in which I talk about submitting your writing, getting rejected (and my 50-rejections-a-year goal), and how fiction is always political.