Alumni Reading!

The Leavers by Lisa Ko (’10)


Long-listed for the 2017 National Book Award for Fiction

Lisa-Ko_headshotWriter Lisa Ko (’10) returns to Ithaca!


Lisa is a writer and editor living in New York City. Her fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2016, Apogee Journal, Narrative, Copper Nickel, Storychord, One Teen Story, Brooklyn Review, and elsewhere.


A co-founder of Hyphen and a fiction editor at Drunken Boat, Lisa has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, Writers OMI at Ledig House, the Jerome Foundation, Blue Mountain Center, the Van Lier Foundation, Hawthornden Castle, the I-Park Foundation, the Anderson Center, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center. Born in Queens and raised in Jersey, she lives in Brooklyn.


We’ll be celebrating the publication of Lisa’s first novel, The Leavers, with a reading and book signing on Sunday, October 1, 2017, 1:00-2:00pm.


Following Lisa’s reading, there will be a moderated discussion and Q&A with fellow alum and Saltonstall Board President Bob Proehl ’13.


This reading will take place at Buffalo Street Books in downtown Ithaca.

The Leavers has been named winner of the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, as well as one of the most anticipated books of 2017 by Entertainment Weekly, TIME, Bustle, Buzzfeed, The Millions, NYLON, The Washington Post, and others.


Read an excerpt here!

Advance praise:


LisaKo_The Leavers cover

“There was a time I would have called Lisa Ko’s novel beautifully written, ambitious and moving, and all of that is true, but it’s more than that now: if you want to understand a forgotten and essential part of the world we live in, The Leavers is required reading.” —Ann Patchett, author of Commonwealth


“Courageous, sensitive, and perfectly of this moment.” —Barbara Kingsolver, author of Flight Behavior


“A rich and sensitive portrait of lives lived across borders, cultures, and languages … One of the most engaging, deeply probing, and beautiful books I have read this year.” —Laila Lalami, author of The Moor’s Account


“In The Leavers, Lisa Ko has created one of the most courageous mother characters in recent memory. Polly is brash, brave, and heartbreaking and her ferocity is marvelous to behold. The Leavers is about the bonds between parents and children and the many pulls of home. It was a book I did not want to end.” —Kaitlyn Greenidge, author of We Love You, Charlie Freeman


“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.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Reading Time & Location

Date: Sunday, October 1, 2017

Time: 1:00-2:00pm

Location: Buffalo Street Books in downtown Ithaca


The bookstore is located one block from the Commons in the DeWitt Mall (same building as the Moosewood Restaurant!) The main entrance is on Buffalo Street, next door to Greenstar Oasis, and across the street from DeWitt Park. (See map below)