Picador pre-empts 'razor-sharp' debut from Leilani

Picador pre-empts 'razor-sharp' debut from Leilani

Picador has pre-empted a “razor-sharp, brutal and darkly comic” debut novel from recent NYU graduate Raven Leilani about a black millennial woman pulled into a suburban white couple’s life.

Luster follows Edie, a woman navigating the everyday realities of casual racism and sexual inequality. Just beginning to see herself as an artist, she becomes involved with a suburban white couple starting to experiment with an open marriage. When her office work is cut short because of sexual improprieties, she finds herself pulled into their family “with life-changing results for all involved”.

UK and Commonwealth rights in all formats including audio were snapped up by editor Kishani Widyaratna, following Farrar, Straus and Giroux’s acquisition of North American rights. Ellen Levine at Trident Media originated the deal, with Dorothy Vincent handling the sale in the UK. Luster will be published in spring 2020.

Widyaratna said: “The moment I started reading Luster I felt that rare, electric thrill of encountering a brilliant new voice, and I knew I just had to work with Raven Leilani.

"Luster is razor-sharp, brutal and darkly comic, with a main character you will never forget in Edie. It’s eviscerating on contemporary sexual manners and racial politics, and then out of nowhere, it wrong-foots you with its unexpected tenderness. All of us at Picador are hugely excited to introduce readers to a young writer like no one else.”