Raven Leilani, African-American writer

The young author's first novel was praised by critics and won the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize.

About the Writer

Born on August 26, 1090 as Raven Leilani Baptiste into a family of artists, the young girl quickly turned to art. Hoping to become a visual artist, she went to art school. In 2012 she graduated in English and Psychology. She worked several jobs before returning to school. She then enrolled at New York University for her MFA.

Rave Leilani's first book, Luster, has received widespread acclaim from the reading public as well as many reviewers. It has been praised by Carmen Maria Machado, Brit Bennett, Angela Flournoy and Zadie Smith. Kirkus Reviews awarded Luster the 2020 Kirkus Prize for Fiction [8]. Luster also received the 2020 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and the 2020 John Leonard Prize, National Book Critics Circle Awards. In 2021, Leilani was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Award for Luster.

Luster a sultry novel

Characterised by a structured, funny and emotionally charged narrative, luster tells the story of Edie, a black woman in her twenties. She shares a mediocre flat in Buswick, working as an editorial assistant and making a multitude of inappropriate choices.

The latter meets a man of about forty, engaged in an open marriage and with a 12-year-old adopted daughter of the same skin color as Edie, and ends up having sex with him. As if moving through ever-changing environments of sexual mores and racism were not enough, Edie found herself without a job. So, she was invited to Eric's home.

Irresistibly abrupt, beautifully comic and emotionally charged, Luster is the story of a woman trying to make sense of her life