Tom Perrotta Talks Leftovers (Not Last Night’s Meal)

Tom Perrotta has written seven novels: The Leftovers, The Abstinence Teacher, Little Children, Joe College, Election, The Wishbones, and Bad Haircut.  Both Little Children and Election were made into award-winning films.

Tom’s latest book, The Leftovers, has won numerous awards and mentions from almost every publication from Oprah’s O magazine to the New York Times.  The cover of the book was featured as one of the best book covers of 2011.

The cover’s striking, vivid imagery immediately draws you into a compelling narrative.  It’s the story of the rapture, but not the one of the Christian Left Behind series.  Instead, this is the agnostic rapture; one cataloging a family’s struggles after large scale disappearances change the world.  In this version, who is missing seems to be completely random.  HBO is currently working with him to turn the book into a new series.

I interviewed Tom in a nondescript government building in downtown Nashville.  (Tennessee taxpayers can be certain that tax dollars are not being wasted on lavish offices!)

Tom is an agnostic, so I was particularly interested in why Tom chose to write about a rapture-like event.  He talked about death and loss and how as we age and others pass away, we all can feel left behind.


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