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Alam, Rumaan

Entry updated 25 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

(circa 1977-    ) US journalist and author whose third novel, Leave the World Behind (2020), comprises an acute analysis of racial/cultural stresses (see Race in SF) in the north-east corridor of America, after a very Near Future Disaster where New York is blacked out, leading the various protagonists of the tale to anticipate something like the End of the World, or to realize it is already under way. The central venue of the tale is a luxurious house on Long Island occupied by a white middle-class family; as the effects of the calamity begin to spread, a black couple who – in a neatly concrete play on the traditional invasion of a Mysterious Stranger – claim to be the legal owners of the residence. The two families, perhaps surprisingly, gain from each other. The intimate commingling of contemporary Satire and sf topoi in the tale is here unusually translated into a growth of converged realities, in this miming the Petri dish of life in the third decade of the twenty-first century. [JC]

Rumaan Alam

born Washington, District of Columbia: circa 1977

works (selected)


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