“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
Come join us for a reading and signing at Octavia Books with New Orleans author Maurice Carlos Ruffin (WE CAST A SHADOW) celebrating his highly anticipated new collection of stories, THE ONES WHO DON'T SAY THEY LOVE YOU.
This will be an in-store event. To reserve your participation, please pre-purchase your copy of the book now from Octavia Books at https://www.octaviabooks.com/book/9780593133408 while using the comment box during checkout to write "attending event." (You may also write in a request a signed copy if you are not attending.)
In accord with the Mayor Cantrell's new guidelines, please be prepared to provide proof of at least one dose of an approved COVID vaccine or of negative PCR test within 72 hours to access.
Maurice Carlos Ruffin has an uncanny ability to reveal the hidden corners of a place we thought we knew. These perspectival, character-driven stories center on the margins and are deeply rooted in New Orleanian culture.
In “Beg Borrow Steal,” a boy relishes time spent helping his father find work after just coming home from prison; in “Ghetto University,” a couple struggling financially turns to crime after hitting rock bottom; in “Before I Let You 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 a home where an elderly gentleman lives, 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.
Maurice Carlos Ruffin is the author of We Cast a Shadow, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the PEN America Open Book Prize. It was longlisted for the 2021 DUBLIN Literary Award the Center for Fiction Prize and the Aspen Words Literary Prize. The novel was also a New York Times Editor’s Choice. Ruffin is the winner of several literary prizes, including the Iowa Review Award in fiction and the William Faulkner–William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition Award for Novel-in-Progress. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the LA Times, the Oxford American, Garden & Gun, Kenyon Review, and Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America. A New Orleans native, Ruffin is a professor of Creative Writing at Louisiana State University, and the 2020-2021 John and Renee Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi.
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