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Leave the World Behind: A Novel Audiobook, by Rumaan Alam Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Rumaan Alam Narrator: Marin Ireland Publisher: HarperAudio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2020 ISBN: 9780063033504
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A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!

Finalist for the 2020 National Book Award (Fiction)

A Best Book of the Year From: The Washington Post * TimeNPR * Elle * Esquire * Kirkus * Library Journal * The Chicago Public Library * The New York Public Library * BookPage * The Globe and Mail * EW.com * The LA Times * USA Today * InStyle * The New Yorker * AARP * Publisher's Lunch * LitHub * Book Marks * Electric Literature * Brooklyn Based * The Boston Globe

A magnetic novel about two families, strangers to each other, who are forced together on a long weekend gone terribly wrong.

From the bestselling author of Rich and Pretty comes a suspenseful and provocative novel 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.

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? 

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A suspenseful tale that examines the complexities of race and class.”

    USA Today

  • “Riveting and claustrophobic…delivering a dazzling and dark examination of family, race, class, and what matters most when the impossible becomes possible.”

    Esquire

  • “A thrilling book—one that will speak to readers who have felt the terror of isolation in these recent, torturous months and one that will simultaneously, as great books do, lift them out of it.”

    Vogue

  • “A heart-stopping insistence, that the time to fix what’s broken is now.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • An October 2020 LibraryReads Pick
  • New York Times bestseller
  • Wall Street Journal Pick
  • Finalist for the National Book Award
  • New York Times Bestseller in Audio
  • A BookPage Best Book of 2020
  • Washington Post Best Book of the Year
  • Time Magazine Best Book of 2020
  • Elle Magazine Pick of 2020's Best Books
  • Esquire Magazine Best Book of the Year
  • Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year
  • Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Selection
  • USA Today Best Books of the Year Pick
  • Globe and Mail (Toronto) Best Books of the Year Pick 
  • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2020

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About the Author

Rumaan Alam’s writing has been published in New York Magazine, Los Angeles Review of Books, the Wall Street Journal, the Rumpus, Washington Square Review, Gettysburg Review, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere. He started his career in fashion publishing at Lucky magazine, has written extensively on interior design for Domino, Lonny, Elle Decor, ArchitecturalDigest.com, and elsewhere. He has worked in advertising as a copywriter and creative director. He studied at Oberlin College and lives in Brooklyn.

About the Narrator

Marin Ireland is a voice artist who has won five Earphones Awards as well as the prestigious Audie Award for Best Female Narration in 2020. She is an award-winning actress known for her starring role in the Broadway show Reasons to Be Pretty, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. She has appeared in a number of off-Broadway shows and television series, including Homeland, Unforgettable, The Killing, The Following, and others.