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About the Book


An epic, engrossing first novel of an African-American family, its dispossession and regeneration.

Leaving begins in 1959, when newly-widowed and pregnant Ruby Washington and her half brother, Easton, board a bus in rural South Carolina destined for California. Their lives and the lives of Ruby's daughter Lida and her children Love and Li'l Pit are played out against the turbulent backdrop of the 1960s and the drug-infested neighborhoods of the 1980s and 1990s. Ruby and Lida struggle to embrace each other without disturbing the family secret that eventually drives Lida into prostitution; Easton grows into a charismatic community leader without control over his own inner world; and Love attempts to rescue his brother from the inhospitable streets of America.

Leaving places, leaving family, and leaving the prisms of racism and poverty-this debut novel is a remarkable synthesis of history and intimately-observed everyday life.

by Richard Dry

  • Publication Date: April 9, 2003
  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
  • ISBN-10: 0312302878
  • ISBN-13: 9780312302870