Donna Has Left the Building (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Don’t be fooled by the breezy tone of the book’s opening. Donna, 45, is a Subaru-driving, smart-alecky suburban mother of two teens. She demonstrates and sells high-end kitchenware. When she comes home early one day to find her husband . . . well, you have to read it. Her response? Her past as a pink-haired, punk rocking rebel takes over; she embarks on a consistently startling solo road trip that ultimately – after mishap upon mishap – takes her halfway around the world. The focus sharpens and the tone deepens. This flawed but fascinating character is my new best friend, and I’m delighted to share her with you.


— From Banna's New Recs


From the beloved, New York Times-bestselling author of Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress comes a hilarious, timely, and big-hearted new novel about rebuilding life in the face of disaster.

Forty-five-year-old Donna Koczynski is an ex-punk rocker, a recovering alcoholic, and the mother of two teenagers whose suburban existence detonates when she comes home early from a sales conference in Las Vegas to the surprise of a lifetime. As her world implodes, she sets off on an epic road trip to reclaim everything she believes she's sacrificed since her wild youth: Great friendship, passionate love, and her art. But as she careens across the U.S. from Detroit to New York to Memphis to Nashville, nothing turns out as she imagines. Ultimately, she finds herself resurrected on the other side of the globe, on a remote island embroiled in a crisis far bigger than her own.

Irresistibly funny, whip-smart, and surprisingly moving, DONNA HAS LEFT THE BUILDING spins an unforgettable tale about what it means to be brave -- and to truly love -- in a tumultuous world.

About the Author

Susan Jane Gilman is the bestselling author of Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress, Kiss My Tiara, Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven, and the novel, The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street. She has provided commentary for NPR and written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Ms. Magazine, among others. Visit her at

Praise For…

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

"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 Don't Let My Baby Do Rodeo

"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
Product Details
ISBN: 9781538762417
ISBN-10: 1538762412
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: June 4th, 2019
Pages: 416