Raven Leilani’s Best-Selling Novel, Luster, Is Being Adapted for HBO

One of 2020’s buzziest books is getting the HBO treatment.

According to Deadline, actress Tessa Thompson’s production company, Viva Maude, is teaming up with the film studio Gaumont to adapt Raven Leilani’s best-selling novel, Luster, for the television screen. Leilani’s book was one of the most talked-about literary releases of the last year for its candid portrayal of Edie, a young Black woman “living a precarious existence in New York City.” The novel follows Edie as she navigates a sexual affair with a white man in an open marriage and finds herself moving in with him, his wife, and their young adopted Black daughter in the suburbs. Luster became a number-one best seller on the likes of The New York Times‘ and Los Angeles Times‘ book charts.

Luster marks the daring debut by Raven Leilani, a seminal voice for her generation. In her work, which defies categorization, there is an astonishingly singular quality that speaks to spirit of the types of narratives Viva Maude aims to showcase—bold, beautifully crafted, unapologetically human, imaginative and unconventional,” Thompson said in a statement. “It is thrilling to be teamed with Gaumont and the stunning talents of Jackie Sibblies Drury and Lileana Blain-Cruz to develop this story at HBO, the perfect home.”

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Nicolas Atlan, the president of Gaumont U.S., also praised Leilani’s novel and shared his excitement for the story to hit the television screen.

“[We’re] beyond thrilled to be developing Luster with HBO and Viva Maude’s Tessa Thompson and Kishori Rajan,” he said in a statement. “We were riveted by this groundbreaking book, written by the incredibly talented Raven Leilani, and are blown away at how quickly the series creative team which includes our writers, Lileana Blain-Cruz and Jackie Sibblies Drury, has come together. We can’t wait to get started.”

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