Here’s our latest Story of the Week!
This short story follows the unwaveringly faithful Sarah as she aims for a pristine Sabbath, her monotonous life disrupted when she meets Jacob.
Published in The Cut in April 2019. (3,393 words)
Why We Love It:
Raven Leilani’s writing is sensual and consuming. Sarah is a character who desires a life-altering tragedy as proof that God exists, and though she has felt Him, that tragedy does not strike. This lack leaves Sarah in a state of seeking, and when her figurative hungers manifest physically, the tension in the story thickens. Smart and beautifully crafted, “Day of Rest” leaves its mark on the reader.
“Her life was ecstatic insulation, a square one-bedroom apartment, a single spoon. At 33, nothing of note had happened to her. Her body felt decorative, as if it were missing some crucial architecture and only keeping time. Her nails grew. Her hair seemed to have reached its terminal length, and when she went to bed, it was with the certainty that she would live too long.”
- Luster, a novel by Raven Leilani
- “Breathing Exercise,” a short story by Raven Leilani
- Interview with The Guardian about Luster
- Ursa’s Story of the Week archives.
—Story selected by Marina Leigh
Marina Leigh is a queer, biracial writer and photographer born and raised in Reno, Nevada, and she is currently earning her MFA in poetry as the Grisham Fellow at the University of Mississippi.