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Raven Leilani ¸ 4 Summary

Luster AUTHOR Raven Leilani

Luster sees a young black woman figuring her way into life as an artist and into love in this darkly comic novel She meets Eric a digital archivist with a family in. it s not overhyped that s it that s the review

Read Luster AUTHOR Raven Leilani

Loyed and living with Eric 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 kn. Lonely is the word that comes to mind when I think of Luster The characters are lonely and wanting 23 year old Edie begins a relationship with an older married man Eric Walker She loses her job in publishing due to citations of inappropriate behavior then gets kicked out of her apartment for failure to pay rent Following an unexpected encounter Eric s wife Rebecca takes her in Edie becomes engrained in the Walker family continuing to slyly see Eric accompanying Rebecca to work where she performs autopsies and forming a relationship with their adopted Black daughter Akila It s an unusual arrangement to say the least It felt like they all operated individually ignoring the elephant in the room that was their dissatisfaction with life and one another I felt bad for Edie that she was so obviously lonely and didn t have much of any support system to lean on or belief in herself as an artist She also however made some uestionable choices and it was hard to feel for her and her apathetic effort at times Luster is far from happy yet I couldn t put it down An interesting and well written story Looking forward to seeing what Raven Leilani writes next Thank you to NetGalley and Farrar Straus and Giroux for providing an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review

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New Jersey including an autopsist wife who has agreed to an open marriage In this world of contemporary sexual manners and racial politics Edie finds herself unemp. Wow no holds barred untrammeled unhindered unconstrained rampant raw incorrigible A TRULY ADDICTIVE READIt s 340 am I literally just finished ita one sitting middle of the night gulp all 227 pages A buzz book for 2020 I sure think so I m incredibly impress by Raven Leilani Luster is a first novel and I m already looking forward to her next book Edie in her 20 s is a black woman an artist from Bushwick She s frosty frothy and fustyerraticlusty and laboriousa female who is unabashedly sex forward and straight forward She s also unfulfilled by virtually everything in her life She s barely scraping by on a publishing salarytrying to be an artist in her own right Edie begins dating Eric a middle aged white married man in an open marriage with an adopted 12 year old daughter Akila Edie becomes entangled with them all wife is Rebecca emotionally physically and even economically I have not had much success with men This is not a statement of self pity This is just a statement of the facts Here s a fact I have great breasts which have warped my spine More facts my salary is very low I have trouble making friends and men lose interest in me when I talk It always goes well initially but then I talk too explicitly about my ovarian torison or rent Eric is different Two weeks ago into our correspondence he tells me about the cancer that ravaged half of his maternal family He tells me about an aunt he loved who made portions with fox hair and hemp How she was buried with a corn husk doll she d made of herself Still he describes his childhood home lovingly the digressions of farmland between Milwaukee and Appleton the yellow breasted chats and tundra swans that would appear in his yard looking for seed When I talk about my childhood I only talk about the happy parts The VHS of Spice World I I received for my fifth birthday the Barbie I melted in the microwave when no one was home Of course the context of my childhood boy bands Lunchables the impeachment of Bill Clinton only emphasizes our generation gap Eric is sensitive about his age and mine and he makes a considerable effort to manage the twenty three year discrepancy He follows me on Instagram and leaves lengthy comments on my posts Retired Internet slang interspersed with earnest remarks about how the light falls on my face Compared to the inscrutable advances of younger men it is a relief When we talked online we both did some work to fill in the blanks We filled them in optimistically with the kind of yearning that brightens and distorts All I want is for him to have what he wants I want to be uncomplicated and undemanding I want no friction between his fantasy and the person I actually am I want all that and I want none of it I want the sex to be familiar and tepid for him to be unable to get it up for me to be too open about my IBS so that we are bonded in mutual consolation I want us to be light in public And when we fight in private I want him to maybe accidentally punched me I want us to have a long fruitful bird watching career and then I want us to find out we have cancer at exactly the same time Then I remember his wife the coaster eases downward and we fall Luster is SOOOO FRESH in your face dialoguedry humor gut wrenching sadbut I loved our protagonistI was rooting for herThis beautiful vulnerable young woman s life was messy I have learned not to be surprised a man s sudden withdrawal It is a tradition that men like Mark and Eric and my father have helped uphold So I endure Eric s silence even as our paths cross in the morning and in the middle of the night I don t attempt to break it so the longer it persists the it mutates For a day or so it becomes hilarious and then a little erotic a seething suffocating thing that makes me aware of how long it s been since I ve been touched I could find a local man to tide me over but it feels like too much work I ve already done the work with Eric He knows when I got my first period and I know he is decent to waitstaff and I m not interested in sucking the cock of a stranger who has potentially made a waitress cry There is only so much I can do to save face I am living in their house and eating their food I am running out of money and I don t know how long they will let this go on Themes of race class sex depressiveness are exploredAll the while Edie is smoldering under her own loneliness Sentences are pulsing with electricityI was left breathless by the last page This bighearted story absolutely captivating and intimate will stay with me a long time


About the Author: Raven Leilani

Raven's debut novel Luster is forthcoming from FSG August 2020 Her work has been published in Granta McSweeney’s uarterly Concern Narrative Yale Review Conjunctions The Cut and New England Review among other publications She completed her MFA at NYU



10 thoughts on “Luster AUTHOR Raven Leilani

  1. says:

    I’m really glad my twenties are overETA This is an incredible debut So uncomfortable and stressful and beautiful and haunting and

  2. says:

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

  3. says:

    Luster seems to be getting rave reviews across the board but I found the beautiful and evocative writing actual

  4. says:

    Wow no holds barred untrammeled unhindered unconstrained rampant raw incorrigible A TRULY ADDICTIVE READIt’s 340 am I literally just finished ita one sitting middle of the night gulp all 227 pages A buzz book for 2020? I sure think so I’m incredibly impress by Raven Leilani“Luster” is a first novel and I’m already looking

  5. says:

    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 I was irritated since I hadn’t reuested the date But then I decided I might as well just go ahead and meet Her pr

  6. 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 witness

  7. says:

    Giveaway winOH MY FUCKING GOD I love this book Luster is everything Its mean spirited funny brutally smart and sad Raven Leilani's writing rem

  8. says:

    Lately I seem to be interested in stories of the messiness and complex lives of the characters and this one does that and does it well Messy is what our troubled 23 year old main character Edie is After losing her job she moves in with her white older lover his wife and their adopted black daughter I won't get into the messiness of all that and leave that for the story Raven Leilani boldly and bravely creates a distinct POV with Edie a blac

  9. says:

    Lonely is the word that comes to mind when I think of Luster — The characters are lonely and wanting 23 year old Edie begins a relationship with an older married man Eric Walker She loses her job in publishing due to citat

  10. says:

    4 ½ stars rounded up since this is a debut “I think to myself You are a desirable woman You are not a dozen gerbils in a skin casing Luster is a deliriously enthralling and boldly subversive debut novel I was dazzled by the author’s prose which is by turns dense and supple by Edie’s sardonic and penetrating narration and by the story’s caustic yet searing commentary on race class gender and sexuality “It is

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