Rumaan Alam: Leave the World Behind

"It's a particular kind of irony to be trapped in this place that is so beautiful and comfortable that ultimately becomes a place of imprisonment."

Listen Now

Want to get away from it all?  Maybe a rental house with no internet access that overlooks the woods and a swimming pool?  What if that heavenly vacation goes wrong -- really wrong -- in a way that has global consequences?  In Rumaan Alam's Leave the World Behind that's exactly what happens, starting with an unexpected late-night knock on the door that leads to reality itself shifting beneath the characters' feet.

Rumaan Alam is the author of three novels: Rich and Pretty, That Kind of Mother, and Leave the World Behind. Other writing has appeared in The Wall Street JournalThe New York TimesNew York Magazine, Buzzfeed, and the New Republic, where he is a contributing editor. He also co-hosts two podcasts for Slate, studied writing at Oberlin College, and lives in New York with his husband and two kids.

About the Host

Amanda Stern is Bookable’s host. Founder of the popular literary event series Happy Ending at Joe’s Pub in New York City, Stern is also a writer. Happy Ending ran for more than a decade and was selected as New York’s best book-related series by New York Magazine, The Village Voice and NY Press. The New York Times Magazine singled out Happy Ending as a force keeping “downtown New York alive.”


This episode was produced by Andrew Dunn and Amanda Stern. It was edited, mixed and sound-designed by Andrew Dunn who also created Bookable's chill vibe.  Our host is Amanda Stern. Beau Friedlander is Bookable's executive producer and editor in chief of Loud Tree Media.


"Books That Bounce" by Rufus Canis, "Uni Swing Vox" by Rufus Canis, "Denholm Green" by Prairie Ensemble, "Washed Out" by Shaky Faces, "Morning Tide" by The Mariner, "Wintler Wine" by Prairie Ensemble, "Thinking of a Master Plan" by Theory Hazit, "Syntagma" by Jules Blueprints.

More Ways to Listen