Luster (Paperback)Raven Leilani (author)
Audacious and provocative, Leilani’s firecracker of a debut charts Edie’s awkward slalom through modern life, from dead-end hook ups and crushed ambitions to a romantic liaison that has disaster written all over it.
Winner of the Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize 2021
Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2021
Edie is just trying to survive. She's messing up in her dead-end admin job in her all-white office, is sleeping with all the wrong men, and has failed at the only thing that meant anything to her, painting. No one seems to care that she doesn't really know what she's doing with her life beyond looking for her next hook-up. And then she meets Eric, a white, middle-aged archivist with a suburban family, including a wife who has sort-of-agreed to an open marriage and an adopted black daughter who doesn't have a single person in her life who can show her how to do her hair. As if navigating the constantly shifting landscape of sexual and racial politics as a young black woman wasn't already hard enough, with nowhere else left to go, Edie finds herself falling head-first into Eric's home and family.
Razor sharp, provocatively page-turning and surprisingly tender, Luster by Raven Leilani is a painfully funny debut about what it means to be young now.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 172 g
Dimensions: 196 x 130 x 16 mm
'A taut, sharp, funny book about being young now. It's brutal-and brilliant.' - Zadie Smith, author of Swing Time
'Luster is entirely remarkable, and the most delicious novel I've read. I couldn't get enough of Raven Leilani's starkly accurate portrayal of the nuances of being a young woman today.' - Candice Carty-Williams, author of Queenie
'A beguiling fever dream of a novel, shot through with wistfulness, humor, and a kind of breathless, furious verve. You'll find it impossible to put down.' - Ling Ma, author of Severance
'This book is luminous, glorious. From the first sentence I knew there was word-magic here and that I would read any sentence Leilani cares to write. What a marvel.' - Daisy Johnson, author of Everything Under
'Luster is a headlong carousel of a novel. With liquid prose and a painter's eye for colour, texture and light, Luster grapples vigorously with what it means to make art in a world pumping out racism-induced cortisol.' - Naoise Dolan, author of Exciting Times
'Luster is as close to perfect a book as you'll read this year. I promise you - Raven Leilani is about to become your new obsession.' - Louise O'Neill
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ReviewsView all Sign In To Write A Review
“2021's Normal People”
Funny, provocative and intense.
It's only January and already I feel I have read one of the best books this year. If you can't wait for the next Sally Rooney then I can't recommend this book to you... More
“One to watch out for.”
“Luster” cleverly examines the life of a young black woman dealing with loneliness, loss and her longing to belong.
What I really liked was the writer’s use of humour to bring this sad, gritty and extremely smart... More
“Deliriously enthralling, boldly subversive”
4 ½ stars (rounded up since this is a debut)
Luster is a deliriously enthralling and boldly subversive debut novel. I was dazzled by the author’s prose, which is by turns dense and supple, by Edie’s sardonic and... More
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