Others Were Emeralds is rich with lush descriptions and an unmistakable sense of place . . . there’s a beautiful specificity in Leav’s evocation of life as a second-generation Cambodian-Australian.
—Sonia Nair, BOOKS+PUBLISHING
“With lyrical and moving prose, Lang tells a stunning tale of love, loss, and the true power of friendship. Filled with unforgettable characters and richly detailed settings, this is a deep, beautiful novel.”
—Etaf Rum, New York Times bestselling author of A Woman is No Man
Self-discovery, creativity, intense and volatile relationships, feeling like the world is opening up before you at one moment and crashing down around you the next – all of these teenage experiences are beautifully depicted in Others Were Emeralds. The way that Leav wove all of this together whilst striking a delicate balance between darkness and light was impressive and moving.
—Olivia Hurley, READINGS
Leav’s coming-of-age debut is poetic and lyrical, her prose rich in beautiful imagery. She tenderly explores grief, trauma, and love as Ai reflects on her past and makes sense of it in order to move forward.
A heartrending novel . . . Leav skillfully captures the details of senior-year high school life, but is even better in depicting Ai’s teenage experiences with microaggressions and outward racism . . . a resonant portrayal.
A delicate, moving coming-of-age tale set in ’90s Australia, when anti-immigrant sentiment resulted in the rise of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation . . . Leav layers shadows of the horrors Ai’s parents fled, the immediacy of teen characters in their final year at high school, and a mature, poetic reflection on innocence and traumatic experience.
—Sydney Morning Herald, FICTION PICK OF THE WEEK