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January 19, 2021
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
online via Zoom
Coming to America Yiddish Book Center logo
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Coming to America Book Discussion Series: The Leavers - ONLINE

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

The Jones Library is excited to participate in the Yiddish Book Center's "Coming to America" Reading Groups for Public Libraries, a program in which librarians arrange reading groups to discuss three books of Yiddish literature in translation, and one book related to an immigrant community served by their library.

Tonight's discussion will be led by librarian Linda Wentworth, and the selected title is:
The Leavers by Lisa Ko
Lisa Ko was born in the United States to immigrant parents, and her book The Leavers was a 2017 National Book Award for Fiction finalist, won the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, and was a finalist for the 2018 PEN/Hemingway Award and the 2017 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award.  This book tells the story of eleven-year-old Deming Guo who, when his undocumented immigrant mother disappears, is adopted by a family that attempts to make him over as an American teen while he struggles to reconcile his new life with memories of the family he left behind. 

*** Discussion group is now full.  ***

To register for this discussion series, please email 

About the Discussion Series
Using Yiddish literature as a portal, the discussion series will feature Yiddish literature in translation that explores questions of identity, assimilation, language, cuisine, and generational change. It will explore American identity as an ongoing conversation, a give-and-take between insiders and outsiders, and will compare these works written in the early 20th century to works by contemporary immigrant writers.

The book discussions will be held online via Zoom. Links for the discussions will be sent to registered participants the day before the discussion. Books are available to be signed out to participants in this discussion series, thanks to support from the Yiddish Book Center and the “Coming to America” program.  There are limited spaces available, and registration in advance is required. Arrangements will be made for contactless book pick-up at the Jones Library after registration.

Discussion Series Dates and Titles:
Tuesday, October 27 @ 7 pm:  Motl the Canto's Son by Sholem Aleichem
Tuesday, November 17 @ 7 pm:  Enemies, a Love Story by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Tuesday, December 15 @ 7 pm:  A Jewish Refugee in New York by Kadya Molodovsky
Tuesday, January 19 @ 7 pm:  The Leavers by Lisa Ko

This series is made possible due to support from the Yiddish Book Center. The Yiddish Book Center’s “Coming to America” Reading Groups for Public Libraries is made possible by a gift from Sharon Karmazin.