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Leave the World Behind

By: Rumaan Alam

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 with a late-night knock on the door, the spell is broken. Ruth and G. H., an older couple who claim to own the home, have arrived there in a panic. These strangers say that a sudden blackout has swept New York, and—with nowhere else to turn—they’ve come to the country in search of shelter.

But with the TV and internet down, and no cell phone service, the facts are unknowable. Should Amanda and Clay trust this intruding couple—and vice versa? What has happened back in New York? Is the vacation home, isolated from civilization, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from each 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.

ISBN: 9780062667632

JLG Release: Feb 2021

Sensitive Areas: Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes , Language: Strong Language , Violence: Graphic Descriptions
Topics: Family vacations , Married people , Electric power failures , Blackouts , Strangers , New York City , Long Island, New York

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Awards & Honors

2020 National Book Award Shortlist for Fiction
2020 Booklist Editor's Choice in Adult Books

Book Details



First Release

February 2021



Dewey Classification


Trim Size

9" x 6"

Page Count


Accelerated Reader


Scholastic Reading Counts





Print Book


Hardcover edition


Ecco (Adult)

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes , Language: Strong Language , Violence: Graphic Descriptions


Family vacations, Married people, Electric power failures, Blackouts, Strangers, New York City, Long Island, New York,

Standard MARC Record

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Cover Art

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Book Genres


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