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A taut, sharp, funny book about being young now. It's brutal—and brilliant.' —Zadie Smith

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 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.

Book Information

  • ISBN: 9781760983215
  • Format: eBook
  • Pub Date: 13/10/2020
  • Category: Fiction & related items / Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
  • Imprint: Picador
  • Price: $14.99

A taut, sharp, funny book about being young now. It's brutal—and brilliant.' —Zadie Smith

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 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.

Author Information

Raven Leilani's work has been published in Granta, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Narrative, Columbia Journal, 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. Leilani received her MFA from NYU and is currently the Axinn Foundation Writer in Residence there. Luster is her first novel.

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