Episode 44: The Leavers by Lisa Ko
Peilan Guo leaves China to go to New York, city of dreams, to make a new life for herself as a new person, Polly. Years later, caught in a sweep by immigration authorities, she makes the opposite journey, sent back to where she came from. But this time she leaves behind her 10-year-old son, Deming, who knows only that one day his mother went to her job at a nail salon and never came home. Child welfare delivers him to a white couple, who adopt him, take him out of the city, re-name him Daniel. Told from the perspectives of both mother and son, this is a story of the importance of names, the meaning of home, what it is to leave and what it is to be left.
Host Cyd Oppenheimer talks with author Lisa Ko about becoming the person you need to be to write the book you want to write; about trying and failing and trying again; and about how, after you've been working on a book for eight years, you know when it's finally done (winning a prestigious literary award before the book is even under contract is a helpful sign!).