Donna Has Left The Building
a novel

Memoirist Gilman takes readers on a wild road trip in her second novel (after The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street). Following a tragicomic domestic revelation, suburban mom and recovering alcoholic Donna throws off the mantle of predictability to pursue a midlife crisis for the ages. Donna's bad decisions and worse luck lead her from comical escapades to the harrowing edge of the abyss…an unforeseen turn in the road elevates her journey far above the navel-gazing lost weekend it might have been. Gilman channels the best of Jennifer Weiner, especially Best Friends Forever, but the spiritual sibling of this novel is ironically the masterpiece of Weiner's nemesis: Jeffrey Eugenides's Middlesex. The symmetry of Donna's setting with that of Middlesex will link them for years to come. VERDICT Literary fiction readers, chick lit fans, suburbanites, mothers, daughters, addicts (recovering and otherwise), immigrants, people with dreams achieved and abandoned—all kinds of readers will love this book. A must-have for public libraries of every size. — Library Journal (starred review)

"Thanks to Gilman's characteristic wit and charm, her latest novel is a hilariously over-the-top, devastating yet relatable tale…Gilman's writing is razor-sharp and propulsive as her protagonist maintains her wry humor about her situation while probing underlying questions about self-identity, friendship, love, and memory with sensitivity and grace." —Booklist

"[A] witty romp....Donna is reliably irreverent and her travels follow a moving evolution to renewed confidence as she comes to terms with mistakes and regrets. Fans of Jonathan Tropper will love this."Publishers Weekly

"Refreshing [and] surprising...A larger-than-life story about a woman who makes drastic decisions in an attempt to get back on track."—Kirkus

“How can you not be seduced by the irresistible premise of Gilman’s sensational, funny, and yes, sometimes wrenching, new novel? Not only does it have a raucous road trip (who doesn’t love those?) but its indefatigable heroine, a one-time punk rocker calcifying in suburbia, takes off to discover a wider world, a wilder life, and the realization that whatever is broken—in ourselves or the world—needs only our bravery to get it into turnaround.”
-- Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and Cruel Beautiful World

“What I cherish about Susan Jane Gilman's writing is how light the touch is, and how deeply it cuts. Like the flawed heroine of this engrossing and incisive -- politically, domestically, psychologically -- story of an ordinary American life confronted by extraordinary need in the world beyond our borders, Gilman rises to a new level of urgency, empathy, pathos, and, simply, beauty, in her storytelling.”-- Boris Fishman, author of A Replacement Life and Savage Feast 

“A smart, funny tale of chaos, exploration and self-discovery.  From mid-life crisis to humanitarian crisis, Susan Jane Gilman takes us on a journey that is sassy and soulful and not-soon-to-be-forgotten. You’ll love it!” — Pam Jenoff, bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris

“This big hearted novel is intimate and riveting and keeps the reader engrossed from beginning to end! It takes those classic stories usually told about men-the midlife crisis, the epic quest and turns them inside-out with a smart, edgy, woman at the helm who discovers a greater sense of purpose in the world. A love story in the greatest sense. Brilliant, scathing, powerful, insanely funny. Read it!” — April Sinclair, author of Coffee Will Make You Black, soon to be a major motion picture.

 “Susan Jane Gilman’s Donna Has Left The Building is a road trip for the ages, careening wildly from Las Vegas to New York City to a refugee camp on a Greek island. This book took me completely by surprise: a funny and naughty page turner about a woman’s mid-life crisis (which is plenty) becomes much, much more. A welcome lesson on how to be good.”—Marcy Dermansky, author of Twins, Bad Marie, and The Red Car

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