Hardback Luster / Raven Leilani.
Publication year: 2021
Publisher: London : Picador,
Resource type: Physical
ISBN: 9781529035988 (hbk.) :
Originally published: New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020.
Edie is just trying to survive. She's messing up in her dead-end admin job in her all white office, is sleeping with all the wrong men, and has failed at the only thing that meant anything to her, painting. No one seems to care that she doesn't really know what she's doing with her life beyond looking for her next hook-up. And then she meets Eric, a white, middle-aged archivist with a suburban family, including a wife who has sort-of-agreed to an open marriage and an adopted black daughter who doesn't have a single person in her life who can show her how to do her hair. As if navigating the constantly shifting landscape of sexual and racial politics as a young, Black woman wasn't already hard enough, with nowhere else left to go, Edie finds herself falling headfirst into Eric's home and family.
227 pages ; 23 cm
This book is likely to provoke extreme reactions either for or against it. The prose is scintillating and it deals with important modern day issues, including racism, gender politics, wealth inequality, coming of age and marital and extra-marital relationships. At the same time it is often very funny. I loved it. It does however deals with extremes of human behaviour, and plausibility is at times sacrificed for the sake of satirical and emotional effect. Not recommended for the prudish or those who prefer comfortable family dramas. Highly recommended for anyone who relishes sparkling writing and originality.