Historic DeKalb Courthouse
In Lisa Ko's The Leavers and Thrity Umrigar's Everybody's Son, the protagonists grapple with the slippery sense of "home," which constantly shifts due to the absence of their immediate families; but with their new foster families come difficult secrets. Can they unravel the secrets in time to learn about their true family histories?Ko and Umrigar's novels tackle social justice—both past and present—with sharp wit and distinct voices that examine the effects of growing up detached from your family's memories, in places intended to keep it that way
Lisa Ko's fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2016, Apogee Journal, Narrative, Copper Nickel, the Asian Pacific American Journal and elsewhere. She has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Writers OMI at Ledig House, the Jerome Foundation and Blue Mountain Center, among others. She was born in New York City, where she now lives.
Thrity Umrigar is the author of six novels: The Story Hour, The World We Found, The Weight of Heaven, The Space Between Us, If Today Be Sweet and Bombay Time—and the memoir First Darling of the Morning. She is the Armington Professor of English at Case Western Reserve University and was a journalist for nearly 20 years. Her accomplishments include winning the Nieman Fellowship to Harvard, and she was a 2006 finalist for the PEN/Beyond Margins Award. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio.
Reetika Nihjawan was born and raised in a small town in northern India. While growing up, she traveled the world extensively with her father, an officer in the merchant navy. After receiving an honors degree in psychology from Delhi University, she worked as a flight attendant for Lufthansa before settling down to write, first as a Senior Features Editor for ELLE magazine, and then as the Associate Features Editor for ELLE DÉCOR in Mumbai. Nijhawan later moved to Atlanta where her work has been published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Atlanta magazine. Kismetwali & Other Stories, a collection of novellas published in 2015, was her first work of fiction. The collection of interlinked stories was a finalist for the Townsend Prize for Fiction, 2016.