Rumaan Alam’s latest novel, Leave the World Behind, became a finalist for the National Book Award before it was even released. Exploring themes of race, class, climate change, gender politics, geopolitical turmoil, and more—all under the sunny guise of a summer vacation on Long Island—Alam’s novel begins as one kind of story and soon turns into another.
Alam joins Marrie Stone to talk about the book, his unconventional path to becoming a novelist, and about writing the white American experience as an Indian man. He shares how Twitter helped him write the novel, how an editor’s insights made him rethink the novel’s point of view, and the many books that helped him along the way (including Stephen King’s Pet Sematary). There’s mounds of wonderful advice for writers, and fantastic backstory for avid readers.
(Broadcast date: November 4, 2020)
(Record date: October 30, 2020)