Raven Leilani on the Vulnerability of Hope

August 28, 2020

At artnet, Raven Leilani discusses her much-anticipated debut novel, Luster, the product of years of balancing work and art. “There were moments where I felt very bare and stripped-down writing this [book],” Leilani says. “I feel really, truly lucky that people are connecting with it. I had practical teachers who taught me to manage my expectations and I worked in publishing, so rejection was central to my experience with writing. It’s vulnerable to hope—but I think to make anything is really an act of hope. It’s a book that I wrote to be read. And the world met my hope, and there are almost no words for that.”

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Writers to Watch: Fall 2020

is a writer and illustrator. She is the author of two illustrated books, Last Night's Reading (Penguin Books, 2015) and Sanpaku (Archaia 2018).