Please Stop Trying To Leave Me By Alana Saab: A Bust Review

by SAMANTHA NALEPA

Alana Saab tangles fiction and memoir in her debut novel, Please Stop Trying to Leave Me. Saab beautifully encapsulates the journey of a queer woman struggling to write while in the throes of a mental breakdown. Protagonist Norma’s mental health is declining. She swears that God is sending her signs via Instagram and Spotify telling her to break up with her girlfriend. 

Written almost like a stream of consciousness, Norma navigates symptoms she describes as “oblivion,” but her therapist calls it a depersonalization and derealization disorder. “When I was stuck in oblivion,” she tells her therapist, “my head used the second person a lot. As if the author was whispering secrets to the character, and the author and the character had the same voice so it was hard to distinguish one from the other.”

Please Stop Trying to Leave Me is a story of love and hope, of sheer determination, of the courage it takes to fight for survival in the modern world, and what it means to heal. Saab’s gritty debut will leave you questioning whether the distance between fiction and reality isn’t so great—maybe fiction bleeds into reality more than we originally thought.

Image Via  Vintage

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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