Come join us for a special evening with author Maurice Carlos Ruffin featuring his new book, THE AMERICAN DAUGHTERS, A Novel, set in New Orleans in during the civil-war era.
A gripping historical novel about a spirited girl who joins a sisterhood working to undermine the Confederates—from the award-winning author of We Cast a Shadow
Ady, a curious, sharp-witted girl, and her fierce mother, Sanite, are an inseparable duo. Enslaved to a businessman in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the pair spend their days dreaming of a loving future and reminiscing on their family's rebellious and storied history. When mother and daughter are separated, Ady is left hopeless and direction-less, until she stumbles into the Mockingbird Inn and meets Lenore, a free Black woman with whom she becomes fast friends. Lenore invites Ady to join a clandestine society of spies called the Daughters. With the courage instilled in her by Sanite—and help from these strong women—Ady learns how to choose herself. So begins her journey toward liberation and imagining a new future.
THE AMERICAN DAUGHTERS is a novel of hope and triumph that reminds us what is possible when a community bands together to fight for their freedom.
Maurice Carlos Ruffin is the author of The Ones Who Don't Say They Love You, longlisted for The Story Prize and a finalist for The Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, and We Cast a Shadow, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the PEN/Open Book Award, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and International Dublin Literary Award. A recipient of an Iowa Review Award in fiction, he has been published in the Virginia Quarterly Review, AGNI, the Kenyon Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas. A native of New Orleans, he is a graduate of the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop and a member of the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance.
“I knew from page one that this wasn’t going to be a typical journey through a familiar history. Wonderfully structured with a genius conceit, Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s The American Daughters is a thoughtful, courageous, exciting invitation to look beneath the surface—to uncover, peel back, find, and examine the hidden, lost, and missing fragments of the record, the recovery of which will lead us to discover the spirit of resistance embodied by our ancestors and awaken it in ourselves. . . . A splendid work.”—Robert Jones, Jr., New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award finalist The Prophets
“The American Daughters is an emotionally and intellectually captivating journey through slavery and into our future. It is a wholly unique story that challenges what we think we know of the past, truth, American history, and how we will carry what was into what will be. With fully fleshed out characters and enchanting detail, antebellum New Orleans is vivid in Ruffin’s rendering, and Ady is an unforgettable protagonist, a character who meets the crossroads of history with remarkable courage and enduring love.”—Imani Perry, author of South to America
“An incisive and necessary” (Roxane Gay) debut for fans of Get Out and Paul Beatty’s The Sellout, about a father’s obsessive quest to protect his son—even if it means turning him white
NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS’ CHOICE • A collection of raucous stories that offer a “vibrant and true mosaic” (The New York Times) of New Orleans, from the critically acclaimed author of We Cast a Shadow