Luster by Raven Leilani


Bookseller Review by Fleur:

‘One of the best contemporary novels I’ve read it a long time. Sex, love, relationships, race, gender, art – this short coming of age novel packs it all in. With writing so clear, and on point, I’d sometimes gasp and find myself still holding my breath at the end of a passage. It’s dark and funny, dark and upsetting, and left me with the feeling that somehow we need to find a way for things to be better, easier for our young women. The Bell Jar – the only novel I can think of that resonated with similar power.’

In Stock – Ready for despatch or collection within 24 hours


Winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize 2021

Longlisted for the Women’s Prize For Fiction 2021

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.

Razor-sharp, provocatively page-turning and surprisingly tender, Luster by Raven Leilani is a painfully funny debut about what it means to be young now.

A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: Guardian, New York Times, New Yorker, Boston Globe, Literary Hub, Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Times, Glamour, Time, Good Housekeeping, InStyle, NPR, O Magazine, Buzzfeed, Electric Literature, Town & Country, Wired, New Statesman, Vox, Shelf Awareness, i-D, BookPage and more.

One of Barack Obama’s Favourite Books of 2020