Leaving Yesler features a sensitive, mixed race (Puerto Rican and black) protagonist (Bobby). Bobby s life is difficult in short order, he lost his mom to cancer and his older protective brother to Vietnam. His Filipino stepfather is old and not long for the world. The plot, which takes place in the politically tumultuous year of 1968, follows him from his last days in the Yesler Terrace housing project in Seattle to just short of his first day in college. Not only must he survive the dangers within the projects, he must also come to terms with questions about his ethnic identity and his sexuality. The novel is set within the literary realm of magical realism. The ghosts of Bobby s mother and older brother continuously reappear to comfort and advise him. It could be classified as Young Adult, although it is clearly not limited to such an audience. Essentially, this is a coming-of-age novel set in an urban environment, and it deals with serious issues in a young man s growth and development.
March 2010 : USA Paperback
February 2010 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition