Leaving A Novel

Richard Dry

St. Martin's Griffin

0312302878

9780312302870

Trade Paperback

464 Pages

$22.99

CAD26.50

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Winner of the Joseph Henry Jackson Award
Pushcart Editors' Prize Nominee
Selected as a Best Book for Book Club Discussion by Black Issues Book Review

In 1959, newly-widowed and pregnant Ruby Washington and her thirteen-year-old half brother, Easton, board a bus in rural South Carolina, destined for Oakland, California. There, far from the violent events that forced her to flee her home, Ruby hopes to make a new life for her family.

Ruby gives birth to a daughter, Lida, and strives to raise the girl and Easton. But as their Oakland neighborhood changes during the turbulent 1960s, the three are driven apart by forces that Ruby cannot control. Easton becomes involved with civil rights activism and the Black Panthers; Lida, keeping a hurtful family secret to herself, spirals into a cycle of dependency and denial. Finally, Lida's sons Love LeRoy and Li'l Pit must fend for themselves in the inhospitable streets of America, leaving one city for another, searching for a home.

Centered around three generations of a family and set against the larger dispossession of African Americans, Leaving is a blend of history and intimately-observed everyday life.

A reader's guide to Leaving can be found at http://www.stmartins.com/smp/leavingrgg.html.

REVIEWS

Praise for Leaving

"With Leaving, Richard Dry has actually accomplished what many authors have unsuccessfully attempted and some inaccurately claimed: He has captured the African American story from slavery time to the present, both in its panoramic scope and in its immediate and human detail."—Madison Smartt Bell, author of All Souls' Rising

"An astonishingly fine novel. Dry weaves racial injustice, heartache, and family betrayals into a web that glimmers with truth, empathy, and the beauty of the human spirit, resurrected and redeemed."—Jewell Parker Rhodes, author of Voodoo Dreams

"Brilliantly and beautifully written, with fully formed, realistic characters . . . beautiful in its portrait of family and love. "—Vanessa Bush, Booklist (starred review)

"A well-crafted, haunting debut novel."—The Washington Post

"An affecting story."—The Boston Globe

"Compelling . . . haunting and well drawn. A strong debut."—Kirkus Reviews

"[A] first novel of impressive scope. Dry's mature, sensitive prose presents a compelling portrayal of civil rights activism, educational aspirations, [and] family disintegration . . . Expect more from this powerful writer."—Library Journal

"Rich and fluid . . . Starkly poetic, raw and intensely moving . . . Leaving shocks and compels."—The Baltimore Sun

"Remarkable . . . fans of Richard Wright or Alice Walker will find that Richard Dry's debut, Leaving, is woven from familiar thread."—The San Diego Union-Tribune

"Original and deeply moving."—Barnes and Noble's "Discover Great New Writers" (Spring 2002 Selection)

"Dry covers plenty of political and historical ground in this epic, multigenerational debut novel . . . that chronicles the efforts of an African American family to overcome the inequities of racial injustice . . . Dry is a solid storyteller with plenty of compassion for his characters."—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads

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BOOK EXCERPTS

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Richard Dry is an English instructor at Las Positas College and a former Senior Mental Health Assistant who worked with emotionally disturbed youth. Leaving won the Joseph Henry Jackson Award from the San Francisco Foundation and Intersection for the Arts and was nominated for the Pushcart Editor's Prize. Dry lives with his wife in El Cerrito, California.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Richard Dry

  • Richard Dry is an English instructor at Las Positas College and a former Senior Mental Health Assistant who worked with emotionally disturbed youth. Leaving won the Joseph Henry Jackson Award from the San Francisco Foundation and Intersection for the Arts and was nominated for the Pushcart Editor's Prize. Dry lives with his wife in El Cerrito, California.
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