Date & Time
Thursday, October 14, 2021
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
"So delicious that it feels illicit . . Raven Leilani's first novel reads like summer: sentences like ice that crackle or melt into a languorous drip; plot suddenly, wildly flying forward like a bike down a hill." - Jazmine Hughes, The New York Times Book Review
We are delighted to announce an upcoming conversation with Raven Leilani on her first novel, "Luster".
Presented in partnership with Creative Writing at UChicago
At Logan Center for the Arts, Room 801
About the book: 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.
About the author: 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. Leilani received her MFA from NYU and was an Axinn Foundation Writer-in-Residence. "Luster" is her first novel.