'A taut, sharp, funny book about being young now. It's brutal-and brilliant.' Zadie Smith
WINNER OF THE KIRKUS PRIZE FOR FICTION 2020
LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2021
Meet Edie. Edie is not okay. 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 headfirst into Eric's home and family.
Razor sharp. provocatively page-turning and surprisingly tender, Luster is a painfully funny coming-of-age story told by a fresh new voice.
ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S FAVOURITE BOOKS OF 2020
PRAISE FOR LUSTER
'Remarkable, the most delicious novel I've read.' Candice Carty-Williams, bestselling author of Queenie
'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 contemporary moment.' Katie Kitamura, author of A Separation
'Among the most exciting releases of 2020-a lively, unforgettable coming-of-age story . . . Leilani brings painterly precision to each stunning sentence, making for an exacting, darkly comic story of a gifted yet wayward young woman learning to believe in her own talent.' Esquire
'Narrated with fresh and wry jadedness, Edie's every disappointment [is] rendered with a comic twist . . . Edie's life is a mess, her past is filled with sorrow, she's wasting her precious youth, and yet, reading about it all is a whole lot of fun.' Vogue
'Darkly funny with wicked insight . . . This keenly observed, dynamic debut is so cutting, it almost stings.' Elle
'I was blown away by this debut novel . . . It is exquisite.' Dolly Alderton, bestselling author of Everything I Know About Love
'Smart and satirical about everything from the gig economy to racism in publishing to the inner politics of families' Emma Donoghue, bestselling author of Room and The Pull of the Stars