From the winner of the 2009 Iowa Short Fiction Prize, Kathryn Ma, 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 mother, Gran, and her brilliant sister, Les.
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 ($25.99) explores the promise and pain of adoption, the price of assimilation and achievement, the debt we owe to others, and what we owe to ourselves.
Kathryn Ma is the author of the story collection, All That Work and Still No Boys, which won the Iowa Short Fiction Award. The book was also named a San Francisco Chronicle “Notable” Book, and a Los Angeles Times “Discoveries” Book. She received the David Nathan Meyerson Prize for Fiction, and the honor of being named a San Francisco Public Library Laureate. Her stories have appeared in the Antioch Review, Kenyon Review, Northwest Review, Prairie Schooner, Slice, Southwest Review, Threepenny Review, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. Kathryn was a Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and has taught in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Oregon. In 2011, she was a Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at Saint Mary's College of California. This is her first novel.
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.