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Maurice Carlos Ruffin in conversation with Zakiya Dalila Harris
August 19, 2021 @ 6:00 pm
The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You: Stories
published by One World
A collection of raucous stories that offer a panoramic view of New Orleans from the author of the “stunning and audacious” (NPR) debut novel We Cast a Shadow
This is a virtual event that will be hosted by City Lights on the Zoom platform. You will need access to a computer or other device that is capable of accessing the internet. If you have not used Zoom before, you may consider referencing Getting Started with Zoom.
Event is free, but registration is required.
In “Beg Borrow Steal,” a boy relishes time spent helping his father find work after coming home from prison; in “Ghetto University,” a couple struggling financially turns to crime after hitting rock bottom; in “Before I Let Go,” a woman who’s been in NOLA for generations fights to keep her home; in “Fast Hands, Fast Feet,” an army vet and a runaway teen find companionship while sleeping under a bridge; in “Mercury Forges,” a flash fiction piece among several in the collection, a group of men hurriedly make their way to an elderly gentleman’s home, trying to reach him before the water from Hurricane Katrina does; and in the title story, a young man works the street corners of the French Quarter, trying to achieve a freedom not meant for him.
These stories are intimate invitations to hear, witness, and imagine lives at once regional but largely universal, and undeniably New Orleanian, written by a lifelong resident of New Orleans and one of our finest new writers.
Praise for the work of Maurice Carlos Ruffin
“The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You is an ode to all that makes us human. With an acute eye for beauty in seemingly hidden places, Maurice Carlos Ruffin shows us that having true empathy for others is not only transformative but necessary for our evolution as a people. Each story grabs your heart, squeezes the hell out of it, and then, somehow, makes it fuller. I couldn’t stop feeling. Ruffin is a writer whose work will make you a better person without your knowing it.”—Mateo Askaripour, author of Black Buck
“These short stories ring out like the bells of St. Louis Cathedral over Jackson Square. One of our great writers of place, Ruffin dazzles with this sonorous collection of deeply moving New Orleanian tales. Told with humor, insight, and radical empathy, these stories will linger in your heart and mind like the fading song of a brass band, vibrant and beautiful.”—Kali Fajardo-Anstine, author of Sabrina & Corina
“Some are funny, some poetic, others near heartbreaking, but the true hallmark Ruffin’s stories is an interest in what language can do. This is the work of a playful and exuberant writer who is always a joy to read.”—Rumaan Alam, author of National Book Award finalist Leave the World Behind
“Ruffin, more than any of the greats I read, searches for that idea, that style, that genre we think is impossible to do well, and he makes it look easy. What he is doing in these short stories is breathtaking. They are so singular and so reliant on each other for wholeness. This is wonder writing.”—Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy