In stock (can be backordered)

ISBN: 978-1-955239-45-5
Request a Review/Exam Copy

Complete only if requesting a physical review/exam copy. While we can only send physical copies to addresses within the US, reviewers and educators outside the US are welcome to request an e-galley (PDF). (See check boxes below.)

Check as many boxes as apply.

While filling out this form is not a guarantee you will receive a review/exam copy, we are happy to consider your request. E-galleys are typically available about 1-2 months prior to a book’s publication date, and physical review/exam copies are available shortly before publication.

Reviews & Media Recommendation from Alta
Categories Fiction, Nomadic

Lustre: A Novella

Publication Date: March 2023


In June of 2023, Black Lawrence Press welcomed numerous existing and forthcoming Nomadic Press titles to our catalogue. Lustre was originally published by Nomadic.

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

About the Author

© Akubundu Amazu-Lott

Keenan Norris

Keenan Norris is a novelist, essayist and scholar. He has been the recipient of the 2022 Northern California Book Award in Fiction, the 2021-22 National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award in Music, Theater and Performing Arts, the 2021 Folio: Eddie Award for Best Overall Article and the 2012 James D. Houston Award. His novels include The Confession of Copeland Cane and Brother and the Dancer. In 2023, Keenan published the book of essays Chi Boy: Native Sons and Chicago Reckonings and the novella Lustre. Keenan has served as 2023 Lannan Visiting Writer at the Institute of American Indian Arts and 2021 Rea Visiting Writer at the University of Virginia. He is coordinator of the Steinbeck Fellows Program at San Jose State University and serves as California guest editor and contributing scholar to the Oxford African-American Studies Center. Keenan's feature pieces and articles have appeared in numerous forums, including the Los Angeles Review of Books, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, TED-ED and Alta, while his short fiction has been published in several anthologies of California literatureHe is an Associate Professor at San Jose State University.

Visit Author Page