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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.

Edition Language:English
Format Type:

    Luster Reviews

  • Emily May

    Luster seems to be getting rave reviews across the board, but I found the "beautiful" and "evocative" writing actually quite painful to read.The book is a very cold, detached account of a young woman'...

  • Roxane

    I’m really glad my twenties are over.ETA: This is an incredible debut. So uncomfortable and stressful and beautiful and haunting and honest and ugly. ...

  • Kat

    it’s not overhyped. that’s it, that’s the review. ...

  • Debbie

    The book and I head to Couples CounselingGod how I loved it when this book and I started dating. But truth be told, I was against the whole thing at first. My friend, NetGalley, accidentally set us up...

  • Elyse  Walters

    Wow.... ...untrammeled.... ...unhindered.... ...unconstrained.... ...rampant, raw, incorrigible.... ...A TRULY ADDICTIVE READ!!!!!It’s 3:40 am.... I literally just finished it...

  • Michelle

    My opinion of this book will not be popular. I hated it. And that is my short but not so sweet review. At least it was an Overdrive loan. 1 star! ...

  • Will Byrnes

    This was the contradiction that would define me for years, my attempt to secure undiluted solitude and my swift betrayal of this effort once in the spotlight of an interested man. I was pretending ...

  • Meike

    Now Winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize 2021Raven Leilani's debut novel is a spectacular examination of loneliness and the wish to belong. 23-year-old Edie is adrift: After making some inappropriate sexu...

  • Miranda Reads

    Just published my November Reading vlog! The Written Review So....I went into this one with so much excitement. I was READY for some dark humor. And there were so many 5 stars! I'm really wonderi...

  • Erin

    Giveaway win!OH MY FUCKING GOD!!! I love this book! Luster is everything. Its mean spirited, funny, brutally smart, and sad. Raven Leilani's writing reminds me of Gillian Flynn. Like Flynn, Leilani's ...