A Country You Can Leave by Angel-Ajani, Asale

A Country You Can Leave

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"From page one, A Country You Can Leave is a riveting, exasperating, and deeply heartbreaking tale of mother-daughter strife and resilience." --Xochitl Gonzalez, author of Olga Dies Dreaming

A stunning debut novel following the turbulent relationship of a Black biracial teen and her ferocious Russian mother, struggling to survive in the California desert.

When sixteen-year-old Lara and her fiery mother, Yevgenia, find themselves homeless again, the misnamed Oasis Mobile Estates is all they can afford. In this new community, where residents are down on their luck but rich in humor and escape plans, Lara navigates what it means to be the Black biracial daughter of a Russian mother and begins to wonder what a life beyond Yevgenia's orbit--with her insistence on reading only the right kind of books (Russian) and having the right kind of relationships (casual, with lots of sex)--might look like.

Lara knows that something else lies beneath her mother's fierce, independent spirit, but Yevgenia doesn't believe in sharing, least of all with her daughter. When a brutal attack exposes the cracks in their relationship, Lara and Yevgenia are forced to confront the family legacy of violence and the strain of inherited trauma on the bonds of their love.

A Country You Can Leave is a dazzling, sharp-witted story suffused with yearning, as Lara and Yevgenia attempt to forge their own identities and thrive in a hostile land. Compelling and empathetic, wry and intimate, Asale Angel-Ajani's unforgettable debut novel examines the beauty and dangers of womanhood in multiracial America.

Author: Asale Angel-Ajani
Publisher: MCD
Published: 02/21/2023
Pages: 320
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 0.9lbs
Size: 8.40h x 5.40w x 1.30d
ISBN: 9780374604059


Review Citation(s):
Library Journal Prepub Alert 09/01/2022 pg. 4
Publishers Weekly 11/28/2022
Kirkus Reviews 01/15/2023
Booklist 01/01/2023 pg. 21

About the Author
Asale Angel-Ajani is a writer and Professor at The City College of New York. She's the author of the nonfiction books Strange Trade: The Story of Two Women Who Risked Everything in the International Drug Trade and Intimate: Essays on Racial Terror. She has held residencies at Millay, Djerassi, and Playa, and is an alum of VONA and Tin House. A Country You Can Leave is her first novel.

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