Please Stop Trying to Leave Me: A Novel (Paperback)

Please Stop Trying to Leave Me: A Novel By Alana Saab Cover Image
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An "engrossing, affecting, and singular" (Publishers Weekly) debut novel about love, family, queerness, and losing your mind in the modern world.

While god is sending her signs through Instagram and Spotify demanding she break up with her girlfriend, Norma meets with a new therapist for one reason: she really needs to write again. With only one chapter missing in her manuscript, Norma is desperate to know if she needs to leave her girlfriend in order to write The Last Story. The new therapist diagnoses Norma with Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder, but Norma isn’t having it. It’s just Oblivion.

Haunted by SSRI side effects and life becoming less hazily fictional by the day, Norma has never felt crazier. Does anyone else see the world’s poorly crafted plotline? Like, who even wrote this story? Norma begins sharing her manuscript with her therapist, hoping to connect the dissociative dots once and for all—or at least enough so that Google ads stop giving her panic attacks. But soon Norma is questioning everything she’s ever believed about life, writing, and love. 

And then there’s Norma’s girlfriend, the one with a crack of light in her eyes. Could she be Oblivion’s antagonist, the manuscript’s savior? Or is she just a human? 

Told alternately through Norma's barely fictional fiction and her crackling stream of consciousness, Please Stop Trying To Leave Me is an honest, comedic, horrifying, and heart-wrenching story about existing in today’s world, challenging all we’ve been taught about the distance between fiction and reality, sanity and insanity, mental illness and healing.

About the Author

Alana Saab is a literary writer and award-winning screenwriter. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction from The New School, a Masters Degree in Psychology from Columbia University and her Bachelors from New York University in the Phenomenology of Storytelling. She lives in New York with her partner. Please Stop Trying to Leave Me is her first novel.

Praise For…

A Ms. Most Anticipated Book of 2024: "Debut, contemporary, queer AF."

Please Stop Trying to Leave Me is a riveting, deeply funny, and acutely observed ride through the breaking down and rebuilding of self and connection. It’s a full sprint toward (and away from and back again) real love and meaning. Sharp and existential and devastating and queer.”
—Jules Ohman, author of Body Grammar

"Please Stop Trying to Leave Me is the most delightfully unhinged and chaotic novel I’ve read in years and I am here for every page, and more."
—Chloe Caldwell, author of Women: A Novella

"Please Stop Trying to Leave Me is an electric, delirious novel about how art-making, romantic partnership, and trauma make fractals of the self. Alana Saab is an intoxicating stylist, pulling off a heady and meta debut that feels like clawing your way out of the belly of some monster, rib by rib, only to find that the monster is you. Deadpan and tender, Please Stop Trying to Leave Me is a must-read for anyone who has ever white-knuckled their way through the wilderness of their own mind (it me)."
—Ruth Madievsky, author of All-Night Pharmacy

"Audacious, innovative and utterly absorbing, this beautifully written debut novel feels like a new form of realism. Structured as a series of therapy sessions, it does what Samuel Beckett asked of the contemporary novel –“to find a form to accommodate the shape of the mess.” From overwhelming feelings of oblivion to climate crises and economic anxiety, here in a voice at once tender and funny, unsettled and deeply observant, is the texture of our age brought vividly into focus."
—Laurie Sheck, author of The Willow Grove, a Pulitzer Prize finalist

"After a mental health crisis, a young woman seeks treatment in an attempt to reinhabit the outside world, and herself, again. . . . Acerbic, tenderhearted, and clever. . . . A well-crafted spiral of a story with hope at its center."
Kirkus Reviews

"A lesbian woman grapples with her literary ambitions and deteriorating mental health in Saab’s engrossing debut. . . . [An] affecting and singular exploration of a woman’s attempts to live and write with mental illness."
Publishers Weekly

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593686782
ISBN-10: 0593686780
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: June 25th, 2024
Pages: 416
Language: English