Story/Teller: Rumaan Alam's Leave the World Behind with Tonya Pinkins, Marin Ireland, and Jessica Winter
Wednesday, 7:30 pm EDT October 21, 2020
Story/Teller features actors reading from new works of fiction to give audiences a taste of the language, characters, and story, followed by moderated conversations with the authors. See events in series.
Renowned stage and screen actors Tonya Pinkins (1992 Tony Award winner) and Marin Ireland (2009 Tony Award nominee) will perform a dramatic reading of Leave the World Behind (Ecco), a magnetic novel by Rumaan Alam about two families, strangers to each other, who are forced together on a long weekend gone terribly wrong. Written pre-pandemic, Leave the World Behind is eerily prescient in its examination of how humans respond to the sudden and incomprehensible shifts away from life as we knew it.
The New Yorker editor and novelist Jessica Winter, will join Alam in conversation after the performance.
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Rumaan Alam is the author of the novels Rich and Pretty, That Kind of Mother, and Leave the World Behind. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, New York magazine, the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, Bookforum, and the New Republic, where he is a contributing editor. He studied writing at Oberlin College and lives in New York with his family.
Tonya Pinkins is currently in post-production on her horror film RED PILL, set to be released later this year. She is a Tony winner and three-time nominee, for performances in Caroline, or Change (winner: Obie, AUDELCO, Lortel, Garland, NAACP Theater, L.A. Drama Critics awards; nominee: Olivier, Drama League, Drama Desk, Outer Critics’ Circle award), Play On! and Jelly’s Last Jam (Tony Award, Drama Desk, Outer Critics’ Circle, Moarch, Clarence Derwent). Broadway credits include Holler If Ya Hear Me, A Time to Kill, The Wild Party, Radio Golf, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Merrily We Roll Along. Other theatre credits include Truth and Reconciliation Of Womyn (The Tank), Time Alone and Milk Like Sugar (Lucille Lortel Award; Playwrights Horizons). Film/TV: God Friended Me, How to Make Love to a Black Woman, Katy Keene, Bull, Wu-Tang: An American Saga, Madam Secretary, Fear The Walking Dead, NCIS: New Orleans, Random Acts of Flyness, The Strain, Scandal, Gotham, An Act of Terror, Enchanted, Fading Gigolo, Newlyweds, and Home.
Marin Ireland’s theatre credits include Blue Ridge, Reasons to be Pretty (Theatre World Award, Tony nomination), The Big Knife, and After Miss Julie, both also on Broadway, Ironbound, Kill Floor, Blasted, Marie Antoinette, and Cyclone (Obie Award), among others.
Television and film work includes Glass Chin (Independent Spirit Award nomination), Light From Light, The Irishman, Sneaky Pete, Girls, Homeland, Masters of Sex, The Divide, The Slap, Sparrows Dance, The Family Fang, 28 Hotel Rooms, In the Radiant City, Hell or High Water, and Flint, in which she portrays activist Melissa Mays.
Jessica Winter is an editor at the New Yorker and the author of the novels The Fourth Child (forthcoming from Harper in 2021) and Break in Case of Emergency (Alfred A. Knopf, 2016). Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Bookforum, and many other publications. She lives in Flatbush, Brooklyn, with her family.
Leave the World Behind
By Rumaan Alam
Published by Ecco
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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