The Year She Left Us: A Novel

Paperback | October 18, 2016

byKathryn Ma

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From the winner of the 2009 Iowa Short Fiction Prize—comes the extraordinary, unexpected debut tale of three generations of Chinese-American women in a San Francisco family who must confront their past and carve out a future.

The Kong women are in crisis. A disastrous trip to visit her "home" orphanage in China has plunged eighteen-year-old Ari into a self-destructive spiral. Her adoptive mother, Charlie, a lawyer with a great heart, is desperate to keep her daughter safe. Meanwhile, Charlie must endure the prickly scrutiny of her beautiful, Bryn Mawr educated mother, Gran—who, as the daughter of a cultured Chinese doctor, came to America to survive Mao's Revolution—and her sister, Les, a brilliant judge with a penchant to rule over everyone's lives.

As they cope with Ari's journey of discovery and its aftermath, the Kong women will come face to face with the truths of their lives—four powerful intertwining stories of accomplishment, tenacity, secrets, loneliness, and love. Beautifully illuminating the bonds of family and blood, The Year She Left Us explores the promise and pain of adoption, the price of assimilation and achievement, the debt we owe to others, and what we owe ourselves.

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From the Publisher

From the winner of the 2009 Iowa Short Fiction Prize—comes the extraordinary, unexpected debut tale of three generations of Chinese-American women in a San Francisco family who must confront their past and carve out a future.The Kong women are in crisis. A disastrous trip to visit her "home" orphanage in China has plunged eighteen-year...

From the Jacket

The Kong women are in crisis. A disastrous trip to visit her "home" orphanage in China has plunged eighteen-year-old Ari into a self-destructive spiral. Her adoptive mother, Charlie, a lawyer with a great heart, is desperate to keep her daughter safe. Meanwhile, Charlie must endure the prickly scrutiny of her beautiful, Bryn Mawr–educa...

Kathryn Ma is the author of the story collectionAll That Work and Still No Boys, winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award. The book was named aSan Francisco ChronicleNotable Book and aLos Angeles TimesDiscoveries Book. She is also the recipient of the David Nathan Meyerson Prize for Fiction.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.79 inPublished:October 18, 2016Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062273353

ISBN - 13:9780062273352

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“Kathryn Ma is a wonderful writer. Subtle, complex, funny, touching, these stories deliver a world of characters I shall not forget.”