Open marriage

Scenes from an open marriage: Luster, by Raven Leilani, reviewed

One of Barack Obama’s favourite books of 2020, Raven Leilani’s debut comes acclaimed by a literary Who’s Who that includes Zadie Smith, the author’s teacher at New York University. Five months after Luster became an instant New York Times bestseller, it hits British shores on a tsunami of hype that might grate if the novel weren’t so blindingly good. A feat of narrative voice and supple, rhythmic prose, Luster plunges us into the acerbic psyche of Edie, a millennial New Yorker wading through the early-twenties quagmire: student debt, primitive flatshare, artistic ambitions on hold. At the publishing house that pays her meagre wage, grateful diligence is expected of a ‘token’