Tuesday, 7:00 pm EDT June 8, 2021
Online via Crowdcast
Join us to celebrate the 2020 winner of The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize! Sign up to participate in the next event in Macmillan’s Book + Author series: a virtual book club event with award-winning author Raven Leilani for the paperback release of her instant New York Times bestseller Luster. Leilani will be joined by author Hanif Abdurraqib (A Little Devil in America). We’ve partnered with Macmillan to bring this opportunity to book club members across the country, who can tune in to hear a discussion and participate in the live Q&A.
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Raven Leilani’s work has been published in Granta, the Yale Review, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Conjunctions, the Cut, and New England Review, among other publications. She received her MFA from NYU and was an Axinn Foundation Writer-in-Residence. Luster is her first novel.
Hanif Abdurraqib is a writer from the east side of Columbus, Ohio. His latest book is A Little Devil In America.
By Raven Leilani
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Sharp, comic, disruptive, tender, Raven Leilani’s debut novel, Luster, sees a young black woman fall into art and someone else’s open marriage
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 twenties—sharing 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 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 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.
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