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Luster: A Novel

Luster: A Novel

Author Raven Leilani
Publisher Picador
Publication Date 2021-06-08
Section New Titles - Paperback / Fiction
Type New
Format Paperback
ISBN 9781250798671

NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR

A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: NPR, O Magazine, Vanity FairLos Angeles TimesGlamour, Shondaland, The New York Times Book ReviewBoston GlobeBuzzfeedKirkusTimeGood HousekeepingInStyleThe GuardianLiterary HubElectric LiteratureSelf, The New York Public Library, Town & CountryWired, Boston.com, Happy MagNew StatesmanVoxShelf Awareness, Chatelaine, The UndefeatedApartment TherapyBrooklyn BasedThe End of the World ReviewExile in Bookville, Lit Reactor, BookPage, i-D
A FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New Yorker, Barack Obama
A BEST BOOK FOR HOLIDAY GIFTS: AV ClubChicago TribuneNew York Magazine/The Strategist, The Rumpus


WINNER of the NBCC John Leonard Prize, the Kirkus Prize, the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and the Dylan Thomas Prize

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
NATIONAL INDIE BESTSELLER * LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER * WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER

"So delicious that it feels illicit . . . Raven Leilani’s first novel reads like summer: sentences like ice that crackle or melt into a languorous drip; plot suddenly, wildly flying forward like a bike down a hill." ―Jazmine Hughes, The New York Times Book Review

“An irreverent intergenerational tale of race and class that’s blisteringly smart and fan-yourself sexy.” ―Michelle Hart, O: The Oprah Magazine

No one wants what no one wants.
And how do we even know what we want? How do we know we’re ready to take it?

Edie is stumbling her way through her twentiessharing a subpar apartment in Bushwick, clocking in and out of her admin job, making a series of inappropriate sexual choices. She is also haltingly, fitfully giving heat and air to the art that simmers inside her. And then she meets Eric, a digital archivist with a family in New Jersey, including an autopsist wife who has agreed to an open marriagewith rules.

As if navigating the constantly shifting landscapes of contemporary sexual manners and racial politics weren’t hard enough, Edie finds herself unemployed and invited into Eric’s home―though not by Eric. She becomes a hesitant ally to his wife and a de facto role model to his adopted daughter. Edie may be the only Black woman young Akila knows.

Irresistibly unruly and strikingly beautiful, razor-sharp and slyly comic, sexually charged and utterly absorbing, Raven Leilani’s Luster is a portrait of a young woman trying to make sense of her life―her hunger, her anger―in a tumultuous era. It is also a haunting, aching description of how hard it is to believe in your own talent, and the unexpected influences that bring us into ourselves along the way.

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