Listen to an excerpt from Luster, Raven Leilani’s razor sharp, darkly comic, sexually charged and socially disruptive debut novel
More about the book!
Provocatively page-turning and surprisingly tender, Luster by Raven Leilani is a painfully funny debut about what it means to be young now.
Listen to an excerpt from the audiobook below!
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.
‘A taut, sharp, funny book about being young now. It’s brutal – and brilliant.’ – Zadie Smith, author of Swing Time
‘This novel is ridiculously good: gorgeous, dark, and funny, with sentences that’ll wreck you. I will follow this author anywhere she wants to take me.’ – Carmen Maria Machado, author of In the Dream House
‘A darkly funny, hilariously moving debut from a stunning new voice. Luster follows the unforgettable Edie, a hapless young woman suffocating under her own loneliness, whose caustic observations made me laugh out loud and gasp in recognition. Raven Leilani crafts a beautiful, bighearted story about intimacy and art that will astound and wound you. I couldn’t put this one down.’ – Brit Bennett, author of The Vanishing Half
‘There are pages in this book so good they burn your fingers.’ – Garth Greenwell on Twitter
Listen to an excerpt from the book, read by Ariel Blake: