GalleyCrush: Luster

by Staff

Today’s GalleyCrush is Raven Leilani’s Luster, forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux on August 4, 2020. 

Perfect pitch: “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.”

First lines: “The first time we have sex, we are both fully clothed, at our desks during working hours, bathed in blue computer light.”

Big blurb: “The narrative voice of this startling novel is layered, complex, pitch-black comic, and deadly earnest, even ardent in its will to sift through the chaos and idiocy of our madhouse culture and find some glimpse of human reality. Raven Leilani is intellectually supple and steely at the same time; she thinks and perceives blessedly outside any kind of norm. She has made a truly lustrous piece of art.” —Mary Gaitskill

Book notes: Hardcover, fiction, 240 pages. 

Author bio: Raven Leilani’s work has been published in Granta, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Narrative, Yale Review, Conjunctions, New England Review, and the Cut, among other publications. She won Narrative’s ninth annual poetry contest and the New Delta Review’s Matt Clark Editor’s Choice Prize, as well as short fiction prizes from Bat City Review and Blue Earth ReviewLuster is her first novel.