Luster Sharp, Comic, Disruptive, Tender, Raven Leilani S Debut Novel, Luster, Sees A Young Black Woman Fall Into Art And Someone Else S Open MarriageEdie Is Stumbling Her Way Through Her Twenties Sharing A Subpar Apartment In Bushwick, Clocking In And Out Of Her Admin Job, Making A Series Of Inappropriate Sexual Choices She S Also, Secretly, Haltingly Figuring Her Way Into Life As An Artist And Then She Meets Eric, A Digital Archivist With A Family In New Jersey, Including An Autopsist Wife Who Has Agreed To An Open Marriage With Rules As If Navigating The Constantly Shifting Landscapes Of Contemporary Sexual Manners And Racial Politics Weren T Hard Enough, Edie Finds Herself Unemployed And Falling Into Eric S Family Life, His Home She Becomes Hesitant Friend To His Wife And A De Facto Role Model To His Adopted Daughter Edie Is The Only Black Woman Young Akila May KnowRazor Sharp, Darkly Comic, Sexually Charged, Socially Disruptive, Luster Is A Portrait Of A Young Woman Trying To Make Her Sense Of Her Life 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

Raven is the fiction editor for Ruminate Magazine She is also an MFA candidate at NYU Find her prose, poetry, and artwork at Narrative, Granta, New England Review, etc.

[PDF / Epub] ☆ Luster  Author Raven Leilani –
  • Hardcover
  • 240 pages
  • Luster
  • Raven Leilani
  • English
  • 22 January 2019
  • 9780374194321

10 thoughts on “Luster

  1. says:

    Raven 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 sexual choices, she loses her admin job in the publishing industry and finds herself with nowhere to go until the wife of her married lover takes her in Edie now witnesses their unhappy marriage first hand, and she slowly becomes the only confidante of their adoptive daughter Akila who, until then, hardly knew any other black people The awkward, surreal scenario brings out the alienation of each character There is volatile Eric, the husband and digital archivist, who is twice as old as Edie, drowns his unhappiness and insecurity in alcohol and takes her to an amusement park for their first date there is Rebecca, the wife, who works in a hospital morgue where she archives the stories of dead bodies and who tries to approach her problems logically, but can hardly suppress her rage there is aptly named Akila which means intelligent , the black teenager who has been passed from family to family and who has already registered way too much for her age both hypervisible and invisible black and alone and then of course we have Edie, an orphan haunted by intergenerational trauma who tries to archive and make sense of her life through art She is an aspiring painter trying to capture her impressions on the canvas and in photographs, but there is no one who encourages her to seriously pursue her talent For Edie, art is an archive of herself I ve made my own hunger into a practice, made everyone who passes through my life subject to a close and inappropriate reading that occasionally finds its way, often insufficently, into paint And, apparently, also into this novel What makes this book so special is Edie s narrative voice Leilani lets us experience everything through her main character s eyes, and Edie s perceptions are witty and often hilarious, but the heaviness brought about by experiences of racism, sexism, and loneliness always shines through Both Eric and Rebecca frequently treat her cruelly, turning her into weapon to hurt each other, thus objectifying her and exploiting her trauma There is a constant sadness about Edie, and her willingness to oblige others is born out of a lack of self love, of an exhaustion that grinds her down Edie is depressed and tired of the constant fight to survive there will always be a part of me that is ready to die But there is also a part of Edie that is willing resist She loves Artemisia Gentileschi s painting Judith Slaying Holofernes , in which the 17 year old artist painted herself killing her mentor after he had raped her The way Edie clings to her Captain Planet mug in the family house is indicative for her search to find something she can call her own.It is masterful how Leilani spins a web between these characters and develops dynamics and interactions that always point back to their profound lack of attachment The scenes she depicts are mostly realistic, sometimes absurd and always disturbing In numerous narrative vignettes, we learn about Edie s backstory, and sometimes, the people she encounters open a window into their past by sharing some very telling details with her I was glued to this fascinating, hypnotizing text, its particular tone and unusual vibe Raven Leilani who is also a painter is a daring author with a very recognizable style, and I hope this novel will get nominated for some awards, because she deserves attention Oh And extra points for the scene depicting a job interview at a clown school which reads like a nod to Jesse Ball s Census.

  2. says:

    A way is always made to document how we manage to survive, or in some cases, how we don t So I ve tried to reproduce an inscrutable thing I ve made my own hunger into a practice, made everyone who passes through my life subject to a close and inappropriate reading that occasionally finds its way, often insufficiently, into paint And when I am alone with myself, this is what I am waiting for someone to do to me, with merciless, deliberate hands, to put me down onto the canvas so that when I m gone, there will be a record, proof that I was here Raven Leilani s hypnotic debut novel, Luster, is every bit as cathartic as it is cerebral in its devotion to one Black woman s pursuit of harmless passion and purpose in an era inured to uncertainty Such is the plight of a young woman named Edie who staggering over the hurdles of misogynoir as an editorial coordinator and aspiring artist wills herself into an open marriage at the temptation of an older white man she meets online named Eric Suddenly homeless and unemployed, Edie is surprised when, after being caught rummaging through her home, Rebecca the wife meets Edie s cynicism with compassion, permits their tryst to continue under her terms , and extends shelter and money in exchange for one request serve as confidante to their adopted Black teenage daughter, Akila What emerges from this extraordinary invitation the incubus of Edie s suffering and rueful affection, a blood deep sisterhood between Black girls is the pulverizing story of a woman discovering the ways her weaknesses can set her free Luster marks the arrival of a writer who inflames her pages with an infinite scroll of pathos and precision that made this debut novel mercilessly unputdownable So it should come as no surprise when Leilani takes her place on the front lines of the new literary generation Mark my words, Raven is a phoenix on the rise.

  3. says:

    I saw that this was available via NetGalley, and immediately I became intrigued by the premise, which I suspected was about than the physical Meike s excellent review confirmed my suspicions It did than that, though It blew them away and replaced them with something vastly larger, and unexpected.

  4. says:

    Raven Leilani has created a beautifully brilliant debut novel that will shatter our literary landscape for generations to come This novel is comprised of everything socially relevant today an audacious, astute and playful narrator who navigates her life with vigor and lust an older, married white couple with an adopted black daughter Comic Con dating apps the tribulations of money and all of its implications while living in New York casual racism, deliveries via PostMates being sexually forward and not giving a damn, and so much This is not a comprehensive list, but you get the gist In this book, you ll be enad with scenes where Raven s prose is cinematic and graceful as she spills words onto the page with both intensity and tenderness You ll interweave Edie s complex past with the ramifications in her present You ll laugh and you ll cringe You ll realize how much you re invested in all of these characters By the final page, you ll close the book, take a deep sigh and wonder, how did Raven do that I can t wait to watch how this stunning book soars.

  5. says:

    Raven Leilani s novel is one of the most satisfying debuts I ve read in recent years Prose so exquisite I wanted to drink in each sentence, a NYC job market and that feels both comically exaggerated yet painfully, almost cruelly real, and characters who are allowed to be flawed and mean and angry and vulnerable LUSTER is phenomenal.

  6. says:

    Reading Luster is a spiraling dance with no deviation from the feverish pace Raven Leilani sets This book wraps you up in a hundred silvery ribbons of quick language and then flings you outward, holding you by one hand as you recover from the dizziness just long enough to swing back in This book will make you gluttonous for from a hilarious and unforgiving new writer.

  7. says:

    I won this in a Goodreads giveaway.I did not finish it It was too raunchy for my tastes I read the first 2 chapters, then the last chapter to see if I wanted to know what happened in between I did not want to know.

  8. says:

    Wow Wow wow wow wow Wow If I could give this book a 6 I would I wish I were a better book reviewer so that I could do this book justice, but I ll just do my best, I guess Where to begin I think there are maybe two things that make this book so distinctive 1 This writer can seriously turn a phrase I don t normally read with a highlighter, but I WENT TO THE STORE AND BOUGHT ONE so that I could highlight so much exquisite prose And when I say exquisite prose I don t mean beautiful boring metaphors that appear in any great piece of writing, but really soul crushing, blindingly brilliant, funny, sad, searing, incisive, perfect prose Also, super voice y with very specific, well drawn characters which I love.2 THIS IS NOT JUST ANOTHER HAPLESS MILLENNIAL DOING eyeroll emoji eyeroll emoji eyeroll emoji I actually do love that entire genre I can t exactly put my finger on what it consists of, but you know what I mean Halle Butler, Andrew Martin, Sally Rooney but this novel is truly next level I don t feel like shaking the protagonist by the shoulders as much as I feel like burning it all down on her behalf there s something much deeper going on here and I found it incredibly resonant This novel is also weird and sexy and electrifying and scary and strange and funny and cool Having said all that I m not sure who I would recommend it to It s singular Like David S Pumpkins, it s its own thing.

  9. says:

    LUSTER, Raven Leilani, could be compared to a modern black female Catcher in the Rye novel Here a young artist falls for the older man who has a open marriage The main character, Edie, then ends up spending time at her lovers home between, him, his wife, and their young adopted black daughter.

  10. says:

    Luster centers on Edie, a young black woman working in New York publishing just barely making rent each month, who finds herself navigating a suburban white couple s open marriage This is a novel filled with unexpected turns at breakneck speeds, which seamlessly examines the plight of millennials living under capitalism along with the complications of intimacy and race, all while finding the humor and profound sadness in those things This is a multi faceted and brilliant book, and an extraordinary debut from Raven Leilani.

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