Nowhere is safe in these novels of post-collapse contemporary dread and family tension. In Rumaan Alam’s Leave the World Behind, longlisted for the National Book Award, a blackout on the Eastern seaboard forces two families together in an isolated rural house, cut off from the outside world. And in award-winning author Jonathan Lethem’s The Arrest, two siblings in a world where most of what we take for granted—cars, guns, computers, airplanes—have quit working find their lives upended by a man with a nuclear-powered super car.
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“Rumaan Alam’s Leave the World Behind is a canny Trojan horse of a novel, and also a Pandora’s Box. Like the family at its center, we’re seduced utterly by the bounty and insularity of its world, only to find ourselves, inch by inch, approaching a larger darkness lurking just beyond. With a potent Shirley Jackson energy, it is both eerily timeless and sharply prescient at once, and lingers long after its final page.”
—Megan Abbott, author of Give Me Your Hand
“The Arrest is a novel that defies description in the best possible way, which makes it quintessentially a work of Jonathan Lethem’s at his most sublime. It’s an organic tale of the apocalypse, a Hollywood parable, and a fable of survival and surrender. The prose crackles, the jokes land hard and fast, and the story’s heart is sensationally large. Spectacularly imaginative but grounded in humanity and hope—The Arrest is a perfect novel for this moment and future ones.”
—Ivy Pochoda, author of These Women