• Luster

    by Raven Leilani
    Price $20.80
    Hardcover
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    Luster

Virtual Event: Raven Leilani

presenting

Luster:
A Novel

in conversation with BRIT BENNETT

Date

Aug
4
Tuesday
August 4, 2020
7:00 PM

Location

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.

Tickets

Free - $3 contribution suggested at registration

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series and GrubStreet are thrilled to welcome debut author RAVEN LEILANI for a discussion of her novel Luster. She will be joined in conversation by BRIT BENNETT, author of the bestselling, award-winning novels The Mothers and The Vanishing Half. Her latest novel, The Vanishing Half, is available for purchase here.

Contribute to Support Harvard Book Store

While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $3 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of Luster on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.

Click here to join!

About Luster

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 twenties—sharing 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 marriage—with 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.

Praise for Luster

“Raven Leilani's sentences pulse and writhe and shimmer and gut-punch. Above all they tell the truth, even when it hurts.” ―Angela Flournoy, author of The Turner House

“In Luster, Raven Leilani has created a character unlike any other in recent fiction. A slacker black queen, a depressive painter, a damn funny woman. The narrator of this novel tells us of her history and her present life in hypnotic language that is a pleasure to read. Leilani is such a talented writer, I rushed to the end of every outrageous sentence to figure out how she would pull it off.” ―Kaitlyn Greenidge, author of We Love You, Charlie Freeman

“Raven Leilani is a writer of unusual daring, with a voice that is unique and fully formed. There is humor, intelligence, emotion, and power in her work. I cannot think of a writer better suited to capture our moment.” ―Katie Kitamura, author of A Separation

Brit Bennett
Brit Bennett

Brit Bennett

Born and raised in Southern California, Brit Bennett graduated from Stanford University and later earned her MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan, where she won a Hopwood Award in Graduate Short Fiction as well as the 2014 Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers. She is a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 awardee, and her debut novel The Mothers was a New York Times bestseller. Her essays are featured in The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, and Jezebel.

Photo Credit: Emma Trim

Raven Leilani
Raven Leilani

Raven Leilani

Raven Leilani’s work has been published in Granta, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Narrative, Yale Review, Conjunctions, The Cut, and New England Review, among other publications. She won Narrative’s Ninth Annual Poetry Contest and the Matt Clark Editor’s Choice Prize, as well as short fiction prizes from Bat City Review and Blue Earth Review. Luster is her first novel.

Photo Credit: Evan Davis

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Event Series: New Voices in Fiction

Harvard Book Store's New Voices in Fiction series, presented with GrubStreet, highlights debut fiction writers discussing their work and the writing process.

GrubStreet is one of the nation's leading creative writing centers, offering 500+ classes a year in all genres, for writers of all levels. We believe that narrative transforms lives, builds bridges, and produces empathy. By rigorously developing voices of every type and talent and by removing barriers to entry, GrubStreet fosters the creation of meaningful stories and ensures that excellent writing remains vital and relevant. To learn more or find a class, visit grubstreet.org.

General Info
(617) 661-1515
info@harvard.com

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