Taking place in the other California, the desert city of San Suerte, LUSTRE is about the luckless Lustre Little, a boy haunted by the violence of his hometown; ex-convict Sharone Bonilla, who is haunted by his history; and Destiny Deveraux, an orphan, come of age, who is learning and teaching love and responsibility.
“This book settles in this Faulknerian way into its own Yoknapatawpha County. Lustre, Sharone, Destiny, Eddie, Pedro, all of these people live within the landscape of San Suerte.” —Laleh Khadivi, author of A Good Country
“There is much to admire and learn from Norris’ storytelling and his ability to create a city such as San Suerte with its intensive, complicated, and engaging characters. In Lustre, a triangle of characters provides us with profound insights into how individuals deal with poverty, loss, and their haunting indecisions. They say that people in Southern California when hit with a firestorm, earthquake, flood, or mudslide, rebuild on the same spot instead of moving away. Norris’ characters stay and face their specific hardships, dramatizing a grit in people who try to rebuild their lives while confronting a violent past and unsure future. We know Norris’ characters; they are our neighbors.” —Juan Delgado, author of Vital Signs, winner of the American Book Award
“Lustre is a pleasure! In his thoroughly distinctive voice, Keenan Norris seduces the audience into a world of Bibleizing hustlers, where sleep is cavernous and the khakis stiff. As a lifelong resident of the city Norris has fictionalized in this profound story of an Empire, a people and their placelessness, this reader finds himself full ‘like so much syrup risen and settled, thick-sweet and still…’ In San Suerte, the barbershop feels like church, and church, like revival. A masterful offering.” —Eric DeVaughnn, author of The Beauty of Dragons
Fiction. African & African American Studies.
Keenan Norris's books include the novel The Confession of Copeland Cane, which won the 2022 Northern California Book Award, the book of essays Chi Boy: Native Sons and Chicago Reckonings, and the novel Brother and the Dancer, which received the 2012 James D. Houston Award. Keenan teaches at San Jose State University, where he is coordinator of the Steinbeck Fellows Program. In 2021, he served as a University of Virginia Rea Visiting Writer. His essays have appeared in Alta, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Los Angeles Times.