Come celebrate the launch of the paperback edition of Maurice Carlos Ruffin's stunning novel, We Cast a Shadow. Ruffin will appear in conversation with author Daniel José Older with a booksiging to follow.
A “razor-sharp debut from an urgent new voice of fiction,” (NPR) about a father’s obsessive quest to protect his son—even if it means turning him white.
“You can be beautiful, even more beautiful than before.” This is the seductive promise of Dr. Nzinga’s Clinic, where anyone can get their lips thinned, their skin bleached, and their noses narrowed. A complete demelanization will liberate you from the confines of being born in a black body—if you can afford it.
In this near-future Southern city plagued by fenced-in ghettos and police violence, more and more residents are turning to this experimental medical procedure. Like any father, our narrator just wants the best for his son Nigel, a biracial boy whose black birthmark is getting bigger by the day. The darker Nigel becomes, the more frightened his father feels. But how far will he go to protect his son? And will he destroy his family in the process?
Story Locale: A near-future New Orleans-ish city.
Maurice Carlos Ruffin is a recipient of an Iowa Review Award in fiction and was the winner of the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition for Novel-in-Progress. His work has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, AGNI, Kenyon Review, 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.
Daniel José Older has always loved monsters, whether historical, prehistorical, or imaginary. His debut series for young adults, the Shadowshaper Cypher, has earned starred reviews, the International Latino Book Award, and New York Times Notable Book and NPR Best Book of the Year picks, among other accolades. His debut middle-grade series, Dactyl Hill Squad, was named to the New York Times Notable Book list and to the NPR and Washington Post Best Book of the Year lists, among others. He has worked as a bike messenger, a waiter, and a teacher, and was a New York City paramedic for ten years. Daniel splits his time between Brooklyn and New Orleans.
“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