Synopses & Reviews
Finalist for the 2020 National Book Award (Fiction)
A Recommended Book From: Vogue * TIME * The Washington Post * Buzzfeed * The Boston Globe * The Wall Street Journal * Vulture * Newsweek * NY Observer * Refinery29 * The New York Post * Town & Country * Parade * The Millions * PopSugar * AARP * Publishers Weekly * Apartment Therapy * AV Club * Kirkus * LA Mag * BookPage * Alma * Lit Hub * The Week
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
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?
"Addressing race, risk,
retreat, and the ripple effects of a national emergency, Alam's novel is
just in time for this moment." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"Spectacular and ominous....This illuminating social novel offers piercing commentary on race,
class and the luxurious mirage of safety, adding up to an
all-too-plausible apocalyptic vision." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Alam brilliantly captures
the shift in dynamics between the two families, from apprehension about
each other to a collective front against an external entity."
Booklist (Starred Review)
"Initially, the book seems to be about a modern
marriage and family, priorities and choices, and how one measures
success in the 21st century, and it is. But it is also much more..." Library Journal
"Leave the World Behind
is pitch-perfect in atmosphere, easy to read and deceptive in the high
polish of its setting. Alam has crafted a deeply bewitching and
disquieting masterpiece." Shelf Awareness
About the Author
Rumaan Alam is the author of Leave the World Behind, Rich and Pretty, and That Kind of Mother. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Elle, New York Magazine, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal, The Rumpus, Buzzfeed, and elsewhere. He studied at Oberlin College, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Rumaan Alam on PowellsBooks.Blog
The dark — and darkly funny — story of how an upper-middle-class white family from Brooklyn and a wealthy Black couple from the Upper East Side cope with the possible end of humanity, while accidentally sharing a vacation home, Leave the World Behind
uses the tropes of horror to explore the real effects of race, class, and technology on relationships and survival...