LONGLISTED FOR THE 2020 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD IN FICTION
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A magnetic novel about two families, strangers to each other, who are forced together on a long weekend gone terribly wrong
Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they’ve rented for the week. But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G. H. are an older couple—it’s their house, and they’ve arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area—with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service—it’s hard to know what to believe.
Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple—and vice versa? What happened back in New York? Is the vacation home, isolated from civilization, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one other?
Suspenseful and provocative, Rumaan Alam’s third novel is keenly attuned to the complexities of parenthood, race, and class. Leave the World Behind explores how our closest bonds are reshaped—and unexpected new ones are forged—in moments of crisis.
Author, Rumaan Alam, is an author from Bangladesh, who received his degree in writing from Oberlin College. He has authored three novels: Rich and Pretty, That Kind of Mother, and Leave the World Behind. He has also written for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, New York Magazine, Buzzfeed, and the New Republic. Alam is the contributing editor at New Republic. He also co-hosts two podcasts for Slate.
Alam lives with a husband and two children in New York.